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1 often think of my dissertation as a learning tool. The feedback that I have 
received from my committee, the research I conducted, and the contacts with professors I 
established here and in Brazil were priceless accomplishments that opened up new 
opportunities and broadened my horizons. I see each chapter of this investigation as the 
base for future research. I can hardly wait to start it. Needless to say, I did not do this 

Six years have passed since my son Thomas Almeida and I left Rio de Janeiro, 
Brazil. During most of these six years we were both students at the University of Florida, 
sharing our fears, difficulties, accomplishments, and success. Many aspects of our 
accademic lives were similar and yet, apart, since a considerable age gap separates us. 
Our roles as parent and child were long ago defined by our age difference, respect and 
other moral attributes, but that did not stop me from learning from my son an incredible 
array of information, ranging from the use of computer programs to the latest CD hits. I 
was truly blessed to have such a young master. He was zealous and considerate. He 
contributed to my change to the person I am today-more capable intellectually and a 
better professional. To him, I dedicate this dissertation. 

Thomas and I were lucky to have our home away from home in Elizabeth and 
Terry's. The path of our lives had crossed in the past many times in Brazil and in the 
States. I have always admired and respected my friend Dr. Elizabeth Lowe McCoy for 

her joy of life, freedom of spirit and enterprise. Our friendship strengthened during these 
years and we saw our children and Terry's grow fond of one another. To Elizabeth and 
Terry, for their emotional and stimulating intellectual support, I also dedicate this 

Being in a department with people with knowledge on many languages was not 
always an easy task. 1 was fortunate to have Dr. Gary Miller as my supervisor. His 
expertise in different languages such as Latin, Greek and their syntax makes him a unique 
scholar that 1 look up to. Years from now, though, 1 am convinced that it is the person 
and not the scholar that I will cherish in my memory. Dr. Miller's belief in the potential 
of his students and his commitment to develop such potential goes beyond his duties as a 
professor. Anyone who works under his leadership certainly feels the same way. I extend 
my gratitude to the other members of my committee. Dr. Wehmeyer, Dr. Ginway, Dr. 
Yai, and Dr. Pharies. 

When I first started my investigation on compounds 1 had the valuable input of a 
co-worker, Deyse Dutra, who was also in the Linguistics Department. Together, we 
presented a paper on compounds in the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and 
Portuguese. The tables and data on Appositionals and Dvandvas and most of the 
discussions on endocentric and exocentric compounds were based on our first findings. 

Last but not least, I would like to thank Dr. Casagrande for his precious support 
since 1 first arrived. It was both a pleasure and a learning experience to work at the 
English Language Institute. Not only at the ELI but also as the former head of Linguistics 
he guided me through the pitfalls of my master's and Ph.D. courses. Many times I went 
to him for advice and counseling. And he was always there. 








1 . 1 Compounds and Noun Phrases 5 

L2 Criteria to Identify Compounds 6 

1.3 Conceptual Semantics and Compounds 9 

1.4 Heads in Compounds 11 

1.4.1 Syntactic Head 11 

1.4.2 Semantic Head 12 

1.5 Compounds under DP 15 

1.6 Conclusion 16 


2. 1 Criteria for Identifying Compounds in English 18 

2.2 Semantic Head 20 

2.3 Identifying the Syntactic Head 21 

2.4 Head in Hybrid Compounds 23 

2.5 Syntactic Representation 24 

2.6 Data Classification 25 

2.6.1 Productivity 26 

2.6.2 Categories 26 


3.1 Minor's Poem 30 

3.1.1 Lexicalist View 30 

3.L2 Syntactic Framework 32 

3.2 Historical Portuguese 33 

3.2.1 Opaque Compounds 34 

3.2.2 Innovation in Romance 34 

3.3 Old Portuguese Compounds 36 

3.4 The Lexicon 38 

3.4. 1 Parasynthetic Derivation 39 

3.4.2 Clipping 41 

3.4.3 Back Formation 42 

3.4.4 Evaluative Affixes 43 

3.5 Conclusion 44 



4. 1 Human Cloning Gender and Grammatical Gender 45 

4.2 The Suffix -a^a 47 

4.2.1 Deverbals 47 

4.2.2 Denominals 48 

4.3 Etymology- 52 

4.4 Feminine Gender 53 

4.5 Conclusion 54 


5.1 Phonological Changes 55 

5.2 Reduplication as Word Formation 55 

5.2.1 Syntactic Representation 57 

5.2.2 Semantic Interface 58 

5.2.3 Hypocoristics and Compounds 58 

5.2.3. 1 Reduplication Template 58 Clipping 59 

5.3 Conclusion 60 


6. 1 Flead in Endocentric 62 

6. 1 . 1 Feature Percolation 63 

6.2 Lexico-syntactic Categories 64 

6.2.1 N+N 64 Appositional 65 

6.2.1 .2 N+N (subordinate relationship) 67 

6.2.2 P+N 68 

6.2.3 Prefix+N 69 

6.2.4 N+P+N 


6.2.5 N+Adj 73 

6.2.6 Adj+N 73 

6.2.7 N+P+V+N 75 

6.3 Dvandvas 76 

6.4 Conclusion 78 


7. 1 Latin and Greek Roots 80 

7.2 Derivation 80 

7.3 Noun and Affix Syntactic Representation 82 

7.4 Borrowing from English 83 

7.5 Forming New Compounds 83 

7.6 Conclusion 84 


8.1 Head in Exocentric 86 

8.2 Exocentric Compounds in Romance 87 

8.3 Interpreting Exocentric 88 

8.4 Lexico-syntactic Categories 90 

8.4.1 N+N 91 

8.4.2 N+P+N 92 

8.4.3 N+Adj 92 

8.4.4 Numeral+N 93 

8.4.5 P+N 93 

8.4.6 Adj+N 93 

8.4.7 Phrasal Compounds 95 

8.5 Cocnciusion 96 


9.1 Introduction 97 

9.2 Polysemy 98 

9.3 Lexico-Syntactic Categories 100 

9.3.1 N+P+N 100 

9.3.2 N+Adj 101 

9.4 Headship 103 

9.5 Semantic Component 1 04 

9.6 Syntactic Representation 105 

9.7 Cognitive Semantics 106 

9.7.1 Background 107 

9.7.2 Metaphor and Metonymy 109 

9.7.3 Compounds and Cognitive Semantics 110 

9.7.4 Model for Interpretation 112 Ca/)efa Analysis 113 Fe Analysis 117 

9.7.5 Conclusion 119 


10.1 First Sister Principle 122 

10.2 Case Assignment 123 

10.3 Theta Role 118 

10.4 Atom Condition 125 

10.5 Semantic Meaning 127 

10.6 Conclusion 128 






Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School 

of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the 

Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy 



Marta Reis Almeida 

May, 1999 

Chairman: Dr. Gary Miller 
Department: Linguistics 

This study presents compounds as a unified phenomenon accounting for the 
following facts: (i) the output of compound formation in Portuguese is always a noun or 
an adjective; (ii) compounds and Determiner Phrases (DPs) always have the same 
syntactic order; (iii) compounds and DPs will always have a head; and (iv) compound 
fonnation is sensitive to syntactic operations; (v) according to the head parameter for 
Romance languages, complements will be on the right side of the head. The compound 
head inherits by percolation the features of category, person, gender and number, and 
case. The head of the compound is the constituent that characterizes the compound and 
the bearer of the inflectional marks, the morphosyntactic locus. The head is checked in 
the DP. Compounds with a semantic head are termed endocentric and those without a 
visible head are exocentric. 

Compounds in English are defined as Lexical Phrases (LPs) without DPs. This 
definition does not hold for Portuguese because compound formation is sensitive to 


Functional Phrases (FPs), e.g., [N educagdo PP a distdncia] ]DP 'distance learning,' 
where a is the combination of preposition a + feminine article a; in [V desmancha DP 
prazeres]]YF 'pleasure destroyer,' /7razere5' is pluralized. In exocentric compounds, the 
null head presents human cloning gender assignment, e.g., o/a/s e sem terra 'the land- 

The data consisting of 549 compounds, come from magazines such as Vela , 
which presents topics on politics and sports. Another source was Sandmann's data on 
compound formation in Portuguese. A brief survey of historic Portuguese data, including 
compounds from a sixteenth-century Portuguese source, is presented to confirm that the 
lexico-syntactic categories have not changed. In derivation, the different meanings of the 
suffix -ada, e.g.,feijoada 'a black bean dish', nadada 'a swimming event', testada 
'hitting someone with the forehead, 'are discussed from a syntactic, semantic, and 
phonological perspective and proposed as a model. 

Since compounds and DPs share the same syntactic order, I examine different 
semantic criteria for identifying compounds and present a cognitive semantic study of 
metaphor and metonymy, following Lakoff 

Previous studies in Portuguese word formation are mostly descriptive. This 
investigation advances research in compounding under the framework of principles and 
parameters, based on and adapted from current literature in Romance languages. 




Taking into account the similarities between Portuguese and other Romance 
languages, I propose to study compounds in Portuguese as a unified phenomenon, 
accounting for the following facts: 

• The output of compounding in Portuguese is always a noun or an adjective at X° 


• Compounds and Determiner Phrases (DPs) always have the same syntactic order; 

• Compounds, as DPs, will always have a head, be it visible or not; 

• Compound formation is sensitive to syntactic operations; 

• According to the head parameter for Romance, complements will be to the right 

of the head; 

In Portuguese, the lexical-syntactic categories (N, V, Adj, P, and Adv) 
combine to form nouns. Once the nouns are compounded, affixes, both derivational 
and inflectional, can be applied to them. Like nouns, compounds are inserted in a 
Determiner Phrase (DP), where number and gender features are checked. 

It is a well-known fact that there is no structural difference between phrases 
and compounds in Romance, that is, both have the same word order. Miller (1993) 
claims that compounds in English are Lexical Phrases (LPs) without Functional 
Phrases (FPs). As mentioned before, compounds are words at X° level category. 
Derivation, where affixes attach to roots, is another way of forming words. There are 
obvious similarities between these two types of word formation, m the sense that 
suffixes attach to nouns to form another noun or verb. This fact has led linguists such 
as Di Sciullo and Williams (1988) and Villalva (1992) to suggest that a theory of LP 

would be able to account for both compounding and derivation, because word 

formation has no access to functional categories. However, recent research in 

Romance shows that compounds do have access to FPs. Ishikawa (1997) suggests 

that the structure of some synthetic compounds, such as sacacorchos in Spanish {saca 

rolhas in Portuguese) 'bottle opener' may be analyzed as V-DP because corchos is 

used as a general plural. Other examples found in my data such as urn/ ape de carta 

'a-masc/fem foot of cane', 'drank' suggest that human cloning (Harris, 1991) may be 

assigned to the word at LF but the functional head will determine its sex only when 

inserted in the DP. Por do sol, literally 'set of the sun,' 'sunset' is a DP in which the 

article o 'the-masc' occupies the Spec position of PP. The same can be said about 

"educagao a distdncia 'distance learning' where a 'the-fem.'is again in the Spec 

position of PP. These examples lead us to conclude that compounds are extracted 

from the DP and they have properties such as gender, plural, and N movement. 

Therefore, quoting Miller (1993:109), 

The lexicon/syntax dichotomy may be too simplistic; ... the generalization 
involves theories of X°s, LP, and FPs, all of which share some principles but 
are entitled to properties of their own. 

During the process of compounding it will be the head inside the compound 

that inherits the features of category (nominal), semantic, person, gender, number, 

and case by means of percolation. The head is checked in the DP in which the 

compound is inserted. Compoimds v^dth a semantic head are endocentric and those 

without a visible head are exocentric. Recent proposals to unify this theory posit that 

both endo-, and exocentric compounds have heads. Varela (1989) suggests a deverbal 

head for synthetic compounds such as toca-discos 'record player.' Cedeno (1992) 

also has a unifying solution for headship in Spanish N+Adj and Adj+N exocentric 
compounds. In chapter 8 1 will analyze how these proposals relate to Portuguese data 
when I address the issues related to exocentrics. At this point, what seems important 
is that there is an area of research that explains compounding as a unified 
phenomenon, where the head may not be always visible but is nonetheless present. 
Otherwise, compound features such as gender and number would not be checked by 
the functional categories in the DP. 

Some of the controversial issues imphed in the previous paragraphs can be 
summarized in the following questions: " If compounds and DPs have the same 
syntactic order, which criteria distinguish one from the other? What are the possible 
syntactic operations in compounds? Can the principle of headship be generalized for 
all compounds? Does the language parameter for Romance function for Portuguese? 
How do principles of syntax, semantics, morphology, and phonology interact? How 
do these issues relate to actual data?" 

The purpose of this dissertation is to answer these questions and advance the 
research in compounding. To my knowledge, there is no previous formal study of 
Portuguese compounding under the framework of FPs. This research is based on and 
adapted from current literature in Romance, mainly in Spanish and Italian, which are 
languages more similar to Portuguese in structure and meaning than French. These 
studies, in turn reflect a broader view of syntax, that of universal grammar. While 
morphology and phonology present idiosyncrasies that are language specific, 
syntactic phenomena can be explained by general linguistic principles. 

Collection of the data presented in this study began in 1993. The criterion 
used for the selection was usage. The data reflect what the contemporary media say, 
create, and disseminate. The sources are current magazines and newspapers. 
Dictionaries of slang and expressions were consulted and also were used as part of the 
corpus. Under the general endocentric/exocentric semantic categories, 549 
compounds have been classified, according to their lexico-syntactic components. The 
chart presented in Section 2.6 suggests that the most productive are N+N, N+P+N, 
N+Adj, and V+N. 

In the next chapters I expand on the issues summarized in this introduction. In 
chapter 2, 1 analyze headship in Brazilian compounds and expand criteria for 
identifying compounds. In chapter 3, 1 review diachronic data presented by Brazilian 
linguists and present data on Portuguese of the sixteenth century to confirm the fact 
that compounds are sensitive to FP. In chapter 4, 1 show that both compounds and 
derivation can be analyzed under the general framework of principles and parameters. 
In chapter 5, 1 examine two compoxind forms of reduplication. One is formed by an 
iambic CVCV pattern that is typical of hypocoristics and the other is formed by the 
repetition of intransitive verbs that discharge an "event" argument. Chapter 6 covers 
endocentric compounds and their categories and chapter 7 covers right-head 
compounds. Chapter 8 analyzes exocentric compounds. In Chapter 9, 1 present a pilot 
study of 80 body part compounds, analyzing headship, syntactic representation, and 
semantic analysis. The semantic analysis follows the principles of cognitive 
semantics and the imphcations of the studies of Lakoff and Johnson's (1980) and 
Lakoff s (1990) studies on metaphors. In chapter 10, 1 look at synthetic compoimds 

under the framework of First Sister Principle. In chapter 11,1 look at some important 
conclusions drawn from this investigation. 

Before these issues are examined in more detail, I will define what a 
compound is. Section 1.1 shows that compounds and DPs/VPs share the same word 
order, but have different semantic meaning. In 1.2 linguistic criteria is examined to 
identify compounds. Section 1.3 shows how compounds get their semantic roles 
assigned. Next, section 1.4 1 look at heads in compounds, and in section 1.5 at the 
internal structure of compounds. I conclude in section 1.6 by briefly examining the 
proposal to study compounds under DPs. 
1 . 1 Compounds and Noun Phrases 

The order of the constituents in a DP in Romance according to Cinque (1994) 
and Longobardi (1994) is represented as follows: Dp N AP]DP. Similarly, the 
compounds above follow the order: [D(wm)N[ adolescente problemd]] DP, [D [N 
pronto socorroJJ. Since both compounds and nouns present the same word order in 
Portuguese, and compounds obey the same stress rules as nouns,' other criteria must 
be used to differentiate them. Consider the examples below: 

(1) a. Ele e um adolescente problema . 'he is a problem adolescent' 

b. Ele e um adolescente problema cronico 'he is a chronic problem 

c. * Ele e um adolescente problema cronico 'he is an adolescent chronic 

(2) a. Isto e um pronto socorro . 'This is an emergency hospital' 

b. *. . . e um pronto socorro as vitimas. ' ... is an emergency for the victims.' 
c. Isto e um pronto socorro as vitimas. 'This is of immediate help to the 

(3) a. Ele e um desmancha-festas . 'he is a party pooper' 

In English, stress differentiates greenhouse (compound) from green house (HP). In Portuguese there 
is no stress difference between a compound and an NP. 

b. Ele e um desmancha-festas desagraddvel ' ' he is a nasty party pooper' 

c. *Ele desmancha festas desagraddvel ' he poops nasty-sing agr. parties' 

Nouns and compound nouns present some differences: 

• (Ic) is ungrammatical because cronico is understood as a modifier of problema, 
which is a N by itself and not part of the compound. 

• (2b) is ungrammatical because the PP as vitimas cannot be a complement for the 
compound. It does not make sense. In (2c) we no longer have a compound. 
Pronto socorro is understood as immediate help and therefore accepts the PP 
complement. ^ 

• Comparing (3a) and (3b) we see that desmancha-fesias is frozen as a noun. When 
the compound is broken, the VP does not accept an adjective outside the VP. It 
violates well-formedness. 

We are now in a position to make two important generalizations: (i) the 
syntactic order is exactly the same in compounds and NPs; (ii) once compounded the 
constituents cannot be dissociated. The examples above also suggest some differences 
between NPs and compounds. Both the compound and NP adolescente problema 
categorize a type of adolescent and pronto socorro a kind of help, but as compounds, 
adjectives cannot refer to a noun inside the compound. 

Based on the initial generalizations described above, I will now establish the 
criteria to distinguish between NPs and compounds below. Following Sandmann 

See Giorgi & Longobardi (1991 : 122); Cinque, 1994, Adjectival modifiers predicate a quality of the 
head noun without denoting an object in the world, and function as an argument of the head. On the 
right they can have a restrictive or appositive meaning, such as socorro pronto, but on the left they are 
only appositive. They occupy Spec position. Socorro brasileiro ' help Brazilian' differs from 
*hrasileiro socorro, where brasileiro is referential and can only be placed at the left side. 

(1990), I will show how semantic, syntactic, phonological, and morphological 
principles define a compound. 
1.2 Criteria to Identity Compounds 

Morphological criteria show that some compounds get pluralized by adding 
-s to the whole compound, such as cinejomais 'newsreels' and bate-papos 'chats.' 
Note that the latter is metonymic and literally it means 'move-jaw.' However, 
because compounds in Portuguese are sensitive to FP, we have quest oes chave 'key 
question' and anos dourados 'golden years.' In the former only the left N is plural, 
while in the latter both the N and the Adj. are. The right N functions as a complement. 
Thus, the plural form may help identify some compounds but we cannot generahze it 
as a rule for all. 

Human Cloning is a way of identifying such exocentric compounds as [D os 
N e [PP sem terrd\ DP 'the landless people' and [D o/a[N Qpe de valsd\'\ 'someone 
who likes to dance.' In these examples the compound works as a phrasal complement 
of an empty head. 

Phonological criteria show that ia 'mother, woman,' from Yoruba, is 
reduplicated, fomiing an iambic CVCV pattern in laid 'mistress of the house.' Also, 
there are vowel changes in hybrid compounds such as tomaticultura 'tomato culture' 
and pacoiologia 'science of packaging.' The last vowel of tomate and pacote drop 
and an epenthetic vowel is added. This vowel is i for Latin roots (cultura) and o for 
Greek roots (logia). These compounds are formed by agglutination. 

Semantic criteria distinguish the NP and the compound copo de leite 'glass of 
milk' and 'trampet lily.' In 'glass of milk' the meaning is compositional, but in 

'trumpet lily,' the compound is a metaphor for a kind of flower, that is one lexical 
item resembles another. 

Not only semantic, but also syntactic criteria distinguish dedo-duro 'snitch' 
from 'hard finger.' *Ele e urn dedo-duro e inveterado 'it is a hard and unchangeable 
finger' is ungrammatical, because duro 'hard' cannot be a separate adjective. It can 
only be part of the compound. Inveterado refers to the compound as in "ele e um 
dedo-duro inveterado 'he is an unchangeable snitch.' Syntactic criteria are the most 
reliable for distinguishing compounds. Examples (1), (2) and (3) above show how the 
distinction between compounds and NPs, and the FPs gender and number distinguish 
an endocentric from exocentric compound by means of assigning gender, as inpe de 
cana 'unit of sugar cane' versus o/ape de cana 'a heavy drinker.' 

Identifying compounds by using syntactic criteria finds opposition from 
research based on the lexicalist hypothesis for Romance. The present study builds on 
and modifies previous work in Romance compounding conducted under some version 
of the lexicalist hypothesis (Di Sciullo & Williams (1988) for French; Villalva (1992) 
for Portuguese; Scalise (1992) for Italian). Di Sciullo & Wilhams (1988) claiin that 
there is no reason for compounding in Romance since the syntactic structure of N+N 
compounds is the same as NP. The only syntactic structure they recognize is the 
synthetic V+N, such as {tiro a) queima roupa, LT 'shot at bum clothes,' 'point 
blank. ' The VP becomes a noun by a marked rule that accounts for the fact that some 
nouns are made fi-om VPs. I do agree that the distinction between NP and N+N 
compounds is sometimes indistinct but the data in this study contradict the alleged 
nonexistence of Portuguese noun compounding. The data presented in (1), (2), (3) 

contradict these claims. Novel compounds abound in current magazines and daily 
newspapers. Music, sports, religion, and politics are expressions of culture and 
provide fertile ground for compound creation. Some compounds are analogies, such 
asfracasso mania 'failure-mania,' a caique from an old Greek form cleptomania 
'kleptomania.' Economists describe the Brazilian economy as cyclic, moved by 
psychological ups and downs. Downs are characterized by a 'failure-mania' attitude 
when nothing is going right. Beatlemania and videomania 'video watching mania' are 
other current examples. Compare these with the expression mania de voce (literally 
mania of you) 'thinking of you all the time.' Other compounds are formed by 
reduplication such as quebra-quebra 'a break-break event' (a riot where people break 
up public property, such as trains). I will return to these examples in the next 

Recent research on Conceptual Semantics (Jackendoff, 1995) can be applied 
to compound meaning in several ways when argument structure is considered. 
Usually associated with verbs and the discharging of their roles, argument structure 
also holds between nouns. The next section describes it in more detail. 
1.3 Conceptual Semantics and Compounds 

Conceptual Semantics (Jackendoff, 1995) is concerned with the form of the 
internal mental representation that constitutes conceptual structure along with the 
relations between this level and other levels of representation. Conceptual structure is 
the domain of mental representation over which rules of logical and pragmatic 
inferences apply. 


Conceptual formation mles 


conceptual stractares 
T t vision, action t 

Rules of inference 

Figure 1.1 
Conceptual Structure 

The examples below presented by Jackendoff (1995:21) may be considered 
extreme, but they show how "rules of construal" and "rules of pragmatics" permit one 
to interpret: 

• an NP that normally denotes X is used metaphorically to denote an individual: 
[One waitress says to another:] The ham sandwich over in the comer wants some 
more coffee (after Numberg, 1979). 

• an action that is contextually associated with X used as another metaphor: 
The candidate Ollie Northed her interview (after Clark & Clark, 1979). 

These principles can be applied to examples discussed previously, e.g., dedo 
duro andpe de cana. Jackendoff (1995: 242) suggests that ham sandwich functions as 
a head adjunct when a rule of construal maps the term ham sandwich into [person 
contextually associated v/ith ham sandwich]. This same concept can be extended to os 
e sem terra with a rule of construal mapping sem terra into [a group of workers who 
do not own land] 

From the perspective of what constitues a metaphor, Lakoff and Johnson 
(1980) say that a metaphor is not a word but an ontological generalization created 


around the concept that the word or the words represent. In the example of the 
principle above, the idea of a restaurant and related imagery ftmction as the 
underlying background for the metaphor to spontaneously develop. Pragmatic 
knowledge about food is also involved in recovering the meaning. These concepts 
function as our background knowledge, and I argue that we apply the same principle 
to metaphor- reading, that is, we imderstand one domain of experience in terms of an 
1.4 Heads in Compounds 

In this section I want to show that compounds, like NPs, have a head and that 
adjectives and PPs are adjoined to the right of the compoimd according to the head 
subject parameter for Romance languages. I start by defining word order in Romance 
and the position of the syntactic head. Then, I categorize compounds according to the 
semantic component of the head. 
1.4.1 Syntactic Head 

It has been proposed (Bernstein 1991; Cinque, 1994) that the surface order of 
a Romance NP is [Det+ N+ Adj]. One exception will be briefly addressed now then 
developed in Section 6.2.6. That exception is the distribution of predicative 
adjectives, such as grande in um grande livro and pronto in the compound /7ronto 
socorro. It has been suggested (Cinque, 1994) that such adjectives occupy an 
intermediate functional position between the N and Spec, so would block the noun 
movement across these adjectives. Since meaning of these adjectives is referential, 
they refer to one specific book in the former example and one specific kind of help in 
the latter. 


1.4.2 Semantic Head 

Compounds are usually divided into lexical-syntactic categories as nouns, 
adjectives, verbs, prepositions, and adverbs. In endocentric formation the resulting 
compound is usually a sub-category of the head. Lyons (1979) characterizes 
hyponymy as being a relationship between two words in which the meaning of one 
includes the meaning of the other. In (1), (2) adolescente-problema ^nd pronto 
socorro, adolescente-problema is a type of adolescent. The same relationship holds 
for (4), (5) below in which tamanho familia is descriptive of size and amarelo- 
mostarda a type of yellow. 

(4) tamanho familia 'a family-size object': esse objeto e tamanho familia 'this object 
is family size. 

(5) amarelo mostarda 'mustard yellow color': a blrna dela e amarelo mostarda 'her 
blouse is yellow mustard. 

Appositionai compounds are usually interpreted as composed of an XY 

semantic structure where X=Y and Y=X. Appositionals are composed of N+N. The 

nouns have the same semantic domain such as names of occupations, professions, and 

places. N+N endocentric compounds cannot be reversed (* problema adolescente), 

but appositionals, shown in (6), literally 'a ship that is a factory and a factory that is a 

ship' can. Other examples in Portuguese, however, seem to suggest more of a scale of 

meaning, Q.g.,poeta-presidente, 'poet-president,' usually interpreted more like a 

president who is a poet, so it can be reanalyzed as endocentric. 

(6) navio-fahrica 'floating-factory' "este e o novo navio- fdhrica da Marinha ' 'this is 
the new Navy factory ship; fdbrica-navio 'factory-ship' is the other possibility. 

Dvandva compounds are usually interpreted as X & Y, such as the example 

(7), below, that refers to an event. Other examples are Brasil-Argentina 'Brazil- 


Argentina', quarto-e-sala 'room and living room'or 'efficiency apartment.'^ 

(7) queijos e vinhos 'wine and cheese' 'wto e um evento de queijos e vinhos ' 
'this is an event of wine and cheese.' 

In exocentric compounds while there is no phonological head, notice that 
their semantic interpretation requires one. Furthermore, a lexical item may freeze at 
its output and conform to the principle that "an NP that normally denotes x is used to 
denote siy, y being an individual or event." (Jackendoff, 1995). I propose that a N° 
projection not only inherits the features of the compound but gives it what Harris 
(1991) called "human gender," that is taking either feminine or masculine gender 
according to the sex of the referent. The gender will be shown in syntax by an 
anaphorically related pronoun. The sentence in (8) demonstrates this. 



D NP [body part metonymy] 
o/a(s) y/\. 
N Adj 
cabega quente 

Figure 1.2 
Syntactic Representation of Exocentric Compoimds 

(8) cabega quente 'quick tempered'; ele/a e um/'a cabega quente 'he/she is a quick 
-tempered person' 

(9) batata quente 'hot potato problem'; os paparazzi sao uma batata quente 'the 
paparazzi are a hot potato' 

(10) meio-quilo (half-kilo) 'small person'; O meio quilo e bravo! 'The "half-kilo" 
person is an angry type' 

(11) besta-quadrada (square beast) 'stupid person'; ele e uma besta quadrada 'he is 
an asshole' 

{\2)j6vem guarda (young guard) 'young group'; Roberto Carlos e o cantor mats 
importante dajovem guarda ' Roberto Carlos is the most important singer of the 

Dvandvas have two similar or optionally opposite elements coordinated by e 'and.' 


yoimg group' 

Examples (8) and (9) have the same lexical-syntactic composition (N+Adj) 
and the same adjective, quente, but the roles assigned to the heads are different. Both 
compounds refer to entities, but (8) is ascribed to a person and (9) to an event, as 
mentioned before. In (8) quente 'hot' describes the effect of being hot, and in (9) the 
state of being hot. I v^ll address the different characteristics of entities later in this 
chapter and changes of state in section 9.7, when I will discuss issues relating to 
cognitive semantics. 

Compounds defined as synthetic are represented as [V+N] N or [V+DPJDP in 
most Romance languages. In (13) and (14) the internal argument of the verb is 
assigned in the compound but the external argument is not discharged. Higginbotham 
(1985 ) suggests that the event role is always discharged by verbs. As a result, the 
deverbal compounds formed present an event argument. 

(13) desmancha-festa 'poop-party, a sad person whose bad humor becomes 
contagious' 'e/e e um desmancha festa ' 'he is a party-pooper' 

(14) arrasta-pe 'drags feet' 'isto e um arrastape ' 'this is a feet-drag event' 

(15) Deus nos acuda 'God help us ' 'esta sitiiagdo estd como um Deus nos 
acuda 'this is a God help us all situation 

(16) Quebra-quebra 'break break' "Neste evento deu-se um quebra-quebra ' 'at this 
event a riot happened. 

Following Higginbotham, Sproat (1985:172) adds that "driver" in the English 

compound truck driver inherits both the actor (agent) and the event e in its semantic 

component. In her proposal for French, Lieber (1992:66) suggests that the structure 

for essuie-glace {limpador de para hrisas in Portuguese 'cleaner of windshield'), 

'windshield wiper' is similar to -er in English. French, like Portuguese, lacks the 


agent/instrumental affix, but the VN compounds are interpreted as instrument/agent 
nouns, and are usually masculine. Based on this similarity, Lieber proposes that in 
French (Romance) V+N synthetic compounds are formed by zero affixation. Varela 
(1989) adds to Lieber saying that the head is a deverbal noun of an agentive type on 
the left, whose features percolate to the top of the word. Following Varela, I argue 
that internally, according to the First Sister Principle (Sproat, 1985:214), the internal 
role is discharged as in (13), (14). In (16) only the event argument is discharged, 
because the verb is used as intransitive. Synthetic compounds and reduplications 
present similarities. Both are composed of verbs that become nominalizations by zero 
derivation. These are considered "possible words" because, except for a few, they are 
not lexical entries. Consider, however, o/a guarda 'the watchman, the guard 
(feminine) and the dvandva comes e hebes 'eat and drink event.' In the latter the 
nouns are pluralized. 
1.5 Compounds under DP 

The arguments of DP are projected in the same fashion as the arguments of 
VP and other lexical categories. Following Sportiche (1988), I suggest that DP, like 
sentences, projects a shell structure with levels of complementation and a raising of 
the head. The number of levels projected depends on the number of arguments and 
modifiers licensed by the head. The theoretical background I assume for agreement is 
Longobardi (1994). He proposes that an abstract feature R(eferential), which is strong 
in Romance, requires syntactic movement of N° before spell-out , that is, 
phonologically expressed. Agreement in DP is a local relation. Lexical elements with 
morphological and case features must be drawn from the lexicon and checked for 


case and agreement in appropriate positions. At any point of the derivation the spell 

out operation may be applied. Agreement, therefore, is not a result of government. 

The formal structure of the DP can be rewritten now as [ D . . . R(eferential) Agr Num 


1.6 Conclusion 

It has been shown that compounds in Portuguese copy the syntactic structure 
of DP and VP, which suggests that this kind of word formation is sensitive to syntax. 
Therefore, it is expected that compounds will have a head. The complements are at 
the right side of the head in Romance, except for NPs or compoimds containing 
referential adjectives and hybrid compounds. Some compounds function as an adjunct 
of their empty head. The empty head is co-indexed with functional heads when 
inserted into a DP. 


One of the central issues in Romance compounding is to set specific 
guidelines that differentiate compounds from NPs. Except for a few right head 
compounds (Chapter 7) such as fracassomania 'failure mania,' compounds in 
Romance are fonned the same way as NPs in syntax. The four criteria previously 
described in the introduction account for the prototypical examples, but the borderline 
types require more attention. In this chapter, I will review the literature on Romance 
and Germanic headship assigmnent that is relevant to Portuguese compounding. I will 
look for similarities in Romance and contrasts in Germanic languages. The notion of 
head is a language universal, but the parameter for Romance and Germanic is 
opposite in terms of the left/right direction of its complements. In Romance the noun 
complements are to the right of the head [D N AdjjDP, and in English to the left [DP 
Adj N]DP. 

Following the standard categories used in compound literature, I will classify 
the data in Portuguese into endocentric, exocentric, appositional, dvandva, and 
synthetic compounds. The reason for this classification is to account for the most 
striking features of each one. Endo/exocentric are semantic categories for compounds 
that do/do not have a head. Although I, in fact, claim that all compounds do have a 
head and show their null syntactic head as a proof, I will use the traditional 
classification to establish the differences between the two. Appositional follows the 



syntactic order of appositives and is defined as having two constituents with equal 
status (Rainer and Varela, 1 992). I argue that one constituent accumulates the 
function of the other, but their status is not necessarily equal. Dvandvas have a special 
coordinate relationship in which the meaning of one constituent is added to the 
meaning of the other (Spencer, 1992). They have two heads. The synthetic compound 
is the result [V+NP] of a syntactic operation whose output is a noun. 

I first examine criteria for identifying compounds based on Lieber's licensing 
conditions for French (1992). The reason for choosing her approach is twofold. Not 
only does she establish the bases for research in compound theory, she also looks at 
generaHzations across several groups of languages. With these considerations in mind, I 
proceed to a taxonomy of the data based on the endo/exocentric distinction, that is, 
whether compounds have a visible head, e.g., adolescente problema 'problem 
adolescent,' or a null head, e.g., e sem terra 'the landless.' Both present the same lexico- 
syntactic categories, such as N+N, and N+PP. Using them to classify the data permits 
cross-categorial observations that provide valuable information about compounds. 
2. 1. Criteria for Identifying Compounds in Enehsh 

Lieber mentions three criteria for identifying compounds: stress, word order, 
and inseparability (1992: 12-13). However, she states that these criteria are not devoid 
of problems, three of which are discussed below. 

1. In English it is usually the leftmost stem that receives the heaviest stress. In 
Portuguese the stress falls on the stressed syllable of the rightmost element in 
endo/exocentric compounds (except for the ones belonging to the [N [PP N]] 


category), whereas for both elements of dvandvas, and also appositionals maintain 
independent word stress, as in: 

(1) a. quarto e sdla ' room and living room, efficiency apartment' 

b. adolescente problema 'problem adolescent' 

c. bdba-de-moga 'a kind of syrup that goes on top of cakes' 

In other words, stress is assigned to compounds, following the same regular stress 
rules of the language. However, Rainer and Varela (1992:124), R&V hereafter, 
remind us that in Spanish, frequently used highly lexicahzed words are often treated 
as monomorphemic. The same holds for Portuguese. They become "de-stressed" in 
the sense that only the second word gets stress. Consider the pronunciation of 

(2) a. sem terra /seintexa/' ' landless' 

b. ewe/ orMa/ /sinijoxnau/ 'cine journal' 

Stress, in Portuguese, then follows the regular stress rules of the language and 
it is not a reliable criterion to identify compounds because it doesn't enable the 
speaker to distinguish them from other DPs. 

2. In English the elements of compounds appear in a different order from that 
of a phrase. So, DP[DP [N truck driver]] is a compound and DP[ DP [N driver PP of 
trucks]] is a DP. In fact, compounding in English can be defined as a purely lexical 
process. In Portuguese, N word order is one and the same for both Ns and 
compounds. Consider the examples in (3) below: 

(3) a. [DP [N copo de leite] 'a flower whose shape is similar to a white glass; a type 
of lily' 

b. pP [N copo PP de leite ]] 'glass of milk' 

(4) ?i.\DV \^pedepato]\ 'flippers' 

b. [DP[N pe PP depato} 'duck's feet' 


3. Elements of a compound cannot be separated (e.g., * a black heavy board). 
Compounds are inseparable units, considered atoms from a syntactic point of view 
(Di SciuUo And Williams, 1988:46). This characteristic is a syntactic test for 
compounding, placing it apart from noun phrases. If we insert the adjective grande 
"big" between the two nouns of (5a) and (5b) below, we destroy the compound. In 
other words, its constituents carmot be separated. 

(5) a. hicho-de-pe 'a fungus that develops in the foot' 

b. *bicho grande depe ' big organism of foot' 

c. mico ledo 'a type of monkey' 

d. * mico bonito leao 'monkey pretty lion' 

In Portuguese, this criterion can be applied to all compounds, e.g., micopreto 
'a type of monkey' cannot be separated. The insertion of the adjective grande 'big' 
into (5 b) interferes with the semantic interpretation of (5). In (5d), the meaning of 
mico ledo is not preserved. Consequently, bicho-de-pe and mico leao are compounds. 
2.2 Semantic Head 

The notion of the semantic head in compounds is associated with the concept of 
hyponym/hyperonym (Lyons, 1979). Following Lyons, Rainer and Varela (1992:122) 
say that head is the hyperonym of the whole complex word. The consequence of this 
view is that the head and the compound share the same syntactic and functional 

Came 'meat' -:> Hyperonym 

- N - 
+ fem. 
+ sing 

Came-seca -> Hyponym 

- N - 
+ fem. 
+ sing. 

Figure 2. 1 
Semantic Head 


The compound above is the final result of a process of change that Leech 
(1974) describes as petrification. He distinguishes two steps in its formation. The first 
is solidification, a consequence of use, and the second, shrinkage, which means to 
acquire a more restricted meaning than the endocentric that generated it. 
2.3 Identifying the Syntactic Head 

The concept of a grammatical head in derivations can be extended to 
compounds. Zwicky (1985) reminds us that the grammatical head is also the element 
marked for gender and/or number, that is, the morphosyntactic locus. In derivation, 
by means of percolation, the category of a construct and the category of its head are 
identical and so are their morphosyntactic features, such as gender and number. ' We 
can posit the same for compounds. Consider the following examples in English and 

(6) a. happy Adj+ ness N-> happiness N 

b. DP [DP [N maple] [ N leaves]] 

c. DP[DP [N baby teeth]] 


(7) a. livro-depoimento 'testimony book' -^ livros-depoimento 
h.garota/o-propaganda 'advertising model '-^ garotas/os-propaganda 
c. caixa d'dgua 'water tank' -^ caixas d'dgua 

Appositionals (having two heads, receive plural in both): 

(8) a. ator-encenador 'actor-producer'-^ atores-encenadores 

The rules for number inflection in Portuguese are (a) add -s to words ending in a vowel or nasalized 
/a/ a e.g. casas 'houses'; (b) if the word ends in /m/, change Iml to Inl and add -s, e. g, som 'sound' 
sons; (c) add -es to words ending in Irl, lil, or /s/, e.g., prqfessores 'teachers' ; (d) if a word ends in IV ., 
drop the 1 and add -is, eis e.g. azul 'blue' azuis, dificil 'difficult ' dificeis; (e) if the word ends in /ao/, 
the plural is either -s maos 'hand' maos, or -aes e.g.cdes 'dogs', or -oes botoes 'buttons.' 


When endocentric compounds are formed with an adjective, be it a noun + adj or adj 
+ n, they will be inflected for number. This occurs because in Portuguese an adjective 
agrees in number and gender with the noun it modifies, inckiding compounds: 

(9) a. livre-pensador 'free thinker' -^ livres-pensadores 
h.obra prima 'masterwork'-^ obras primas 

The exocentric compounds behave the same way. The plural form of the 

article will take the unmarked generic masculine gender of the empty head as in 

(10a). (as homens 'the men'). Compare (10a). and (10b). In (10b), which is 

endocentric, the preposition attaches to the noun like a prefix. A prefix is different 

from a suffix in the sense that it does not change the gender or number of the head. 

(10) a. [ DP[e] [PP sem terra]} 'no land'-> os [e] sem terra 'the landless people' 
b. contra-almirante - contra-almirantes ' rear admiral' 

Based on the absence of a strong syntactic or phonological distinction 

between compounds and DPs in Romance, some authors state that there are no 

compounds in Romance, except for the synthetic (V+N), such as guarda-lougas 

'cupboard.' Villalva (1992), following DiSciulo and Williams (1988), renames 

compounds as syntactic words, because the structures involved are APs, DPs and 

VPs. However, the examples that she gives of N+N=N are typical of compound 

foraiation. The difference between the examples she cites (1992:209) 

(1 1) a. alor-encenador 'actor-producer' 
h. homba-reldsio 'time bomb' 

is syntactic. The first is appositional, having two heads, and the second endocentric, 

of the IS A type. A bomba-relogio is a kind of bomb. Number inflection confirms this 

difference: alores-encenadores and bombas-relogio. It is true that compounds are 

sensitive to many syntactic rules, such as number and gender, when inserted in DPs. 


The examples given by Villalva cannot occur in post-head position in syntax. If we 
interpret the constituents separately, both (12a) and (12b) become ungrammatical 
These examples demonstrate the opposite of what Villalva claims. Insertion of an 
element at the end is another syntactic test to distinguish a compound from a DP. 

(12) a. A bomba-relogio do terrorista 'the time bomb of the terrorist' 
b. *a bomba relogio do terrorista 'the bomb watch of the terrorist' 

Lieber presents a similar argument for English when she says that nouns such as blue 

in sky blue can only occur in pre-head position compounds. 

(13) a. sky blue 'a type of color, blue like the sky' 

b. blue sky 

c. azul piscina 'a type of blue like the blue of a swimming pool' 

d. piscina azul 'blue swimming pool' 

2.4 Head in Hybrid Compounds 

The head of hybrid compounds is on the right. Villalva (1 992: 203), analyzing 
hybrid compounds in Portuguese, states that "the position of plural suffixes provides 
formal evidence for the identification of the head with the rightmost constituent. " 

(14) a tecnocracia 'technocracy' 
b. pirotecnia 'pyrotechny' 

In their analysis for Spanish, Rainer and Varela (1992: 121) add that hybrids are 

often analyzed in the literature as right-headed because they can be modified by an 

Adj P, Adv P or PP, which is one of the most regular characteristics of compoimding. 

(15) a. cinejornal da tarde 'newsreel of the afternoon' 

b narcotrdfico colombiano 'Colombian narcotraffic' 

Another argument is that once inserted in the lexicon, other words are formed by 
derivation, such as 

(16) a. narcotraficante 'narcotics dealer' 
b. paraquedista 'parachutist' 


Many recent hybrids are caiques of words in English. Others are formed from 
Latin/Greek roots attached to stems in Portuguese. Hybrids not only do not follow 
regular patterns of compound formation, they are not part of derivation, although they 
present characteristics of both. It is wonder hybrids are treated as "exception" to the 
left headship rule for compounding. As 1 will show in Chapter 7, we can analyze 
both the hybrid compositional and the derivational type under the framework of noun 
2.5 Syntactic Representation 

The licensing conditions of a language should hold for compounds as well. 
According to Lieber (1992) for French, "heads are usually initial with respect to 
modifiers", as came seca 'dried meat.' 

Identical Daughter- DiSciuUo 
and Williams (1988:24). 

X-bar representation- 

/ \ 
N° Adj° 
came seca 


/ \ 
/ \ 
N° Adj° 
came seca 

(c) X-bar representation of plural 


/ \ 
as I \ 
N N 

Garotas propaganda 

Figure 2.2 
Syntactic Representation 


Extending X-bar theory to compounding, we can state that the head 
deteraiines the lexical-syntactic category of the compound. In the example above, the 
N+Adj came seca 'dried meat' is a left-headed compound. The features of the left- 
headed element percolate up to the branching node dominating the stem and making 
it a noun. 
2.6 Data Classification 

The survey reflects current use and coinage of the language. The compounds 
have been collected over four years (1993-1997) fi-om two leading weekly 
Portuguese-language magazines, Veia , and Isto E . It is my understanding that current 
newspapers and leading magazines are the best source of both novel compound 
creation and well established fonns, because media writers want to say as much as 
possible in a short text. The language of sports, music, and technology especially 
abound in compound use. 

The creation of novel compounding also depicts the social perspective of a 

specific place during a certain time. The 1950s in Brazil were mostly characterized by 

government repressing civil opposition, and romantic samba music. 

(17) a. a«oi' 7-e^e/i/es 'rebel years' 
b. samha-cangao 'samba-song' 

The 1960s embraced he philosophy of flower-power known in Brazil by the 

slogan below, and the music was influenced by jazz. 

(18 ) a paz e amor 'peace and love' 
b bossa nova 'new way.' 

In addition, other compounds ft^om grammar books and native speakers' oral 

language are included. Dictionaries of slang and expressions have also been 


consulted. As mentioned before, a short list of the sixteenth century compound 

examples is included. There is also a classification of reduplication as a separate 

linguistic phenomenon. 

Special attention is given to the recent productivity of appositional compounds 

in the media. Magazines abound with this type of compounds. They are hyphenated 

in spelling, perhaps to stress that their meaning is compositional, and are a productive 

noun-forming pattern. 

(19) a. cidade-satelite 'city satellite; cities that developed around the capital of 

b. general-presidente 'general-president' 
c . amante-prostituta 'lover-prostitute' 
d. shopping-metro 'underground mall' 

2.6.1 Productivity 

The focus of this investigation is to identify the types of compounds and the 
patterns they form. The number of times (tokens) compounds were used was not 
computed because too many variables would have had to be considered, such as 
subject matter, current events, and personal preference. In addition, an analysis of 
these variables is not within the scope of this investigation, which belongs in the 
fields of semiotics and sociolinguistics. 

2.6.2 Categories 

Besides the categories previously described, a detailed study on body part 
compounds was also undertaken. Due to the similarity in semantic content, the 
classification is presented in the Appendix separate from the other exocentrics. The 
few examples of reduplication that are compounds are also presented as a separate 
category due to their phonological content. 


TABLE 2.1 
Compound Categories 

< ( xnc.OKiis 

TOT \l -<4*) 



1. N+N 


2. N+P+N 




4. Prefix+N(Adj) 


5. N+ Adj. 


6. Adj.+N 


7. N+P+V 






2. N+P+N 


3. N+Adj. 


4. Numeral+N 





















Sou pre-jatopropulsao 

O que mefaz um pro-pre-pro 

Termo que nao ocorreria a meu avo 

Millor Fernandes, 1988 

Although pro 

I am pre-jet propulsion 

That makes me a pro-pre-pro 

A term that would never occur to my 


Diachronic studies have established meaningful links between Latin and 
Romance languages (Camara, 1975; Penny, 1993). Also ingrained in Brazilian culture 
is the concept that the knowledge of Latin and Greek languages is a symbol of 
erudition. In the poem above, Millor overuses fanciful prefixes to create new words 
that do not belong in the Latin model. Speakers of other languages do the same by 
creating new meanings for roots and affixes. When we give serious consideration to 
this fact, a diachronic perspective becomes a valuable tool to better understand word 
formation rules. The lexicalist model also presents limitations for similar reasons 
(Siegel, 1974; Kiparsky, 1982). When it tries to predict the order in which affixes 
attach to roots, and which affixes these will be, it fails to account for many 
exceptions. The lexicahst model also makes predictions about the order of affixation 
and inflection, the latter being the last one to attach to roots. We will see in the next 



chapters that gender morphemes are not always part of inflection. Instead, some are 
suffixes with meanings of their own. 

In this chapter I review data on Portuguese morphology presented by Camara 
(1972); Basilio (1987); Sandmann (1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1997); Carone (1994); 
and Laroca (1994), and show that these authors refer only to the historical and 
lexicalist perspectives of word formation. In their descriptive approaches, no attempts 
are made to present the data under a unifying theory. Based on headship assignment 
and other syntactic operations, such as noun and verb incorporation, I propose to 
analyze the diachronic data presented in this chapter under the general framework of 
principles and parameters. I also assume as proposed by Miller (1993:3), following 
Halle (1990), that all existing words are stored in the lexicon The lexicon is 
composed of roots (word stems and affixes) and words. 

As I briefly mentioned in Chapter 2, the same principles used to describe 
compounding can be used for derivation. In 3.1, the analysis of the poetic epigraph 
shows that derivation, inflexion, and compoimding cannot be completely separated 
because they are part of word formation, and therefore interact with one another. In 
3.2, 1 look at historical Portuguese and discuss some patterns of Latin that were 
adopted in Portuguese as models for derivation. In 3.3, 1 look at data from the 
sixteenth century and present examples of compounds with the same lexico-syntactic 
structure found in modem Portuguese. I finish the chapter by examining recent 
creations in derivation that have been lexicalized and become part of the lexicon. 


3.1 Millor'sPoem 

This digression into linguistic analysis of the above-cited poem and speaker 
intuitions is not devoid of purpose By using examples from the poem, . I want to 
demonstrate that derivation and compounding carmot be completely separated. Other 
examples in this and the next chapters also show that derivation and inflection also 
are not mutually exclusive. In the evolution from Latin to Portuguese, some patterns 
remained virtually the same while others became opaque. The prepositions ;?7-o and 
pre in the poem at the beginning of the chapter reflect these diachronic differences. 
While (la), (lb) and (2a) are examples of productive patterns, (2b) has become 
opaque and the relationship between /;re and verb ambular 'walk' is not recognized. 
The speaker then, will grasp the meaning as a whole without associating it to its parts. 

(1) a. pro-anistia 'pro-amnesty' 

b. pro-governo 'pro-government' 

(2) a. pre-guerra 'pre war' 

b. predmbulo ' walk forward' 'preamble' 

Millor, the author of the poem, is an intuitive Unguist. The most interesting 
aspect in his lexical and syntactic creation is his playing with the resources of word 
formation. By attaching the prefix pre 'before' to jatopropulsao, the compound gains 
a semantic sense of chronological time, since the invention/adoption of the jet 
propulsion engines was a relatively recent breakthrough in aviation. Prefixing it with 
the adverb /7rd 'in favor,' also used as a prefix, Millor forms a suprasegmental 
sequence where stress differentiates pro/pro, a Portuguese metaphony. In thspro- 
pre-pro sequence, pro is the preposition in favor, and;7TO is formed by clipping 
propulsao into its first syllable. Millor' s use of isolated prepositions also 


demonstrates knowledge of the historj' of Portuguese. Pro is usually followed by a 
noun as in (la) and (lb). Last but not least, Millor describes himself as 

(3) um Qpro-pre-pro 'a person in favor of but bom previous to the use of the jet 
propulsion engine' 

He coins an exocentric compound that is sensitive to FPs. Agreement between 
an article and a null subject was not part of Latin syntax. In Old Romance, the use of 
more emphatic speech caused the appearance of new Deteraiiners such as articles. 
That in turn caused the loss of the case system. Determiners incorporate the gender 
and number agreement features as in (3). Um shows the number and gender of the 
null head e. 
3.1.1 Lexicalist View 

The derivation of propidsao below follows the pattern of Lexical Phonology, 
with phonological changes triggered at each level. Kiparsky (1982:132) proposed a 
model based on Siegel's Level Ordering (1974) that includes phonological rules that 
apply at each level of derivation. In this way, he separates rules that apply in the 
lexicon and those that operate after words have been combined into sentences in 
syntax. The lexical analysis below raises important questions about the accuracy of 
lexicalism. Looking at an alternative for the morphological steps in (4) one could also 
start from the root puis (5). 

(4) a. pro (Latin) 'forward' -^ pro 
b. propidsao 'propulsion' 

propidsare (Latin) -^ propuhar (Port.) final vowel drops 

propidsar + do -^ propulsdo final r drops 

propidsado unification of the same vowel 


A more detailed analysis starts from 


{5)pulsu + are ' pulse' ^ pro + pulsare- pulsar 'to pulse' -^ propulsare-propulsar + 
5o 'propulse'+ ion ^ propuhdo 'propulsion 

Should a noun-to-verb conversion take place before ao is attached? Can ao 
attach straight to puis and still carr}/ the "event" argument of the verb? If the answer 
to either of these questions is yes, then we have a violation of the level ordering 
because do is a suffix that implies a verb nominalization. Under the framework of 
lexical phonology, these questions are not clearly addressed. 
3.1.2 Syntactic Framework 

The LexicaUst view was rejected by Lieber (1992:79). Lieber's proposal, 

which I adopt for Portuguese, argues that affixes and free morphemes alike have 

lexical entries that indicate their syntactic, semantic, and phonological representation. 

Affixes contain a subcategorization frame indicating the environment in which they 

can be inserted into word structure trees. By Feature Percolation Convention the 

features of the head in the derivation (right side for Romance) percolate to the first 

non-branching node that dominates it. 

Propuhdo 'propulsion' 

Propulsare (Latin) -^ propulsar (Port.) 

Propulsar (V) + do (N) -^ propuhdo (N) 

propulsar N +fem 
ao +sins 

Figure 3.1 
Syntactic Representation of Derivation 


3. 2 Historica] Portuguese 

Case agreement between noun and adjective disappeared during the evolution 
of Latin into Portuguese, but gender and number agreement remained, a characteristic 
of Romance. This fact may account for the considerable "zero conversion" that takes 
place between noun and adjective. It is headship at the left that defines the noun in a 
NP. If the NP is composed of two nouns, it is the leftward position that defines 
headship. It is only through headship position that we can tell the difference between 
nouns and adjectives in the DP below: 

(6) a. [DP[N urn professor Adj hrasileiro]] 'a Brazilian professor' 

b. [DP[N urn hrasileiro ]^ professor]] 'a Brazilian, who is a professor' 

• N+N 

Two nouns morphologically independent in Latin, e.g., respublica 'thing 
public,' established the frame for N+N and N+Adj compounding in Romance. 

(7) a. couveflor 'cauliflower' 

b. manga espada 'a type of mango with a shape that gives the impression of a 
sword edge' 

c. banana maga 'banana with a taste that reminds one of an apple' 

d. banana ouro 'small banana that when ripe the skin gets a golden color 

e. rosa chd 'tea-rose.' 

f mico leao 'a small monkey whose thick golden face whiskers reminds one of 
the face of a lion' 

The same structure is used for compounds borrowed from other languages 

(8) a. guerra reldmpago from German Blitzkrieg. 

h.futevolei from 'foot' and 'volley', a mix of soccer and volleyball played with 
the feet and head hke soccer on a volleyball court at the beach. 

• N+Adj. 

(9) a. obra-prima 'master work' 
b. parede mestra ' main wall.' 


3.2.1 Opaque Compounds 

Some Latin compounds formed by the thematic variant of a noun with another 
noun, the latter being the head, e.g., agricola 'a tiller of fields,' entered Portuguese as 
loan words and served as models for others. An epenthetic vowel i characterizes this 
type of word formation. Although these words became opaque, the roots are part of 
the lexicon and a matrix to form words. 

(10) a. cor di forme 'shaped like a heart' 

b. uniforme 'uniform' 

c. disforme 'disfigured' 
d.frutifero 'bearing fruit' 

e. mamifero 'bearing breasts. ' 

3.2.2 Iimo vati on in Romance 

The examples below, cited in Camara (1972:1 1) and Penny (1993:1 1), show 
how adjectival phrases absorbed the meaning of nouns. My point in demonstrating 
this is to restate that there was considerable zero conversion between nouns and 

(11) di. fructum persicum 'Persian fruit' -^ pessego 'peach' 

b. fraire germanu LT true brother, 'brother of same ancestry' -> irmao 

• N+PP 

In the following chapters I will present extensive data showing N+N 

compounds that bear a relationship, established by either an empty preposition or by 

de, that seems to carry an infinite variety of meanings. Therefore, it seems opportune 

to transcribe Camara's examples below (1972:13). The reason for doing this is to 

show that de absorbed the meaning of several other Latin prepositions. 


Ad 'a functional relation between the head and the complement' 

(12) lias ad uinum (Latin)-> vaso de vinho 'wine bottle' 

Ex 'out', as in the examples below in Romance 

(13) a. excentrico 'eccentric' 

b. ex- primeiro ministro 'ex prime minister' 

De 'made of 

(14) de marmore templum (Latin) -^ templo de mdrmore 'temple of marble' 
de 'of established possession when the case system disappeared 

(15) tauru corium -^ couro de boi 'leather coming from a bull' 
• V+N 

One of the residues of the Latin Subject Object Verb (SOV) order is the 
Romance compound in (16a) and (17a) It violates the linearization for Portuguese 
which is Subject Verb Object (SVO). Therefore, it was productive only in Latin. 
Compare it to the productivity of (16b) in Portuguese. 

(16) a. sanguessuga ' blood sucker' 

b. guarda-moveis 'closet', gnarda-comidas 'food cabinet', andporta-estandarte 
'flag holder' 

The examples below from Klingebiel (1989) follows the SOV order. These 

words have become opaque in the modem language. Notice that the meaning of (17a) 

remains unchanged (also acquired a metaphorical meaning) but (17b) has changed 


(17) a. mani+ pulare 'hands prepare'-^ manipular 'manipulate'. 
h.manu+tenere 'hand have' ■^ manter 'maintain' 

This brief analysis of historical evolution shows us that there were several 

syntactic changes in DP and VP before the patterns for modem Portuguese 

compounding became fixed. By the sixteenth century these patterns seemed to be 


firmly established. According to Camara (1972: 11), it was during the sixteenth 

century that the linguistic norms were organized in a disciplined way, giving rise to 

the first grammars. 

3.3 Old Portuguese Compounds 

It is not in Latin but in old Portuguese texts that we will find the matrix for 

some of the compounds we use today. By the sixteenth century, the SVO order had 

been defined. FPs became the head of DPs because definite and indefinite articles 

were being used. Many new expressions were in the process of being petrified and 

solidified (Leech, 1974) to become compounds. 

Table 3.1 
Compounds in Old Portuguese 

Lexical/Syntactic Cat. 

Old Portuguese 

'*Casa da suplicagao 'house of 


begging'; servidor da toalha 'towel 



Um refitra-bigodes 'a roll-mustache' 

*Guarda-porta 'door keeper' 

Guctrda roupa 'room beside the 

Bedroom where clothes were kept 


Mordomo mor' first butler' 

Pela peqiiena 'small ball-game' 

Camareiros mores 'first 


Roda viva 'living wheel- the wheel of 


Moto contimio ' continuous 


Cristdo novo new Christian' 

Manjccr bronco 'white pudding' 


Gentil homem 'kind man' 


*Mal sentida 'poorly appreciated 

Mai disposta 'poor disposition-sick' 

Prefix + N 

Vice-rei 'viceroy' 


*As sem-razoes 'the no-reasons' 

Antemdo 'before' 

'*porlongas ' for lengths' 

sohrescrito 'postscript' 


I consulted the book Ditos Portugueses Dignos de Memoria "Portuguese 
Sayings Worth Remembering", compiled by Jose Saraiva (1997), as a historical 
source of compounds, which recounts events involving members of the Imperial 
family and the Portuguese Court in the sixteenth century. There were two reasons for 
selecting this particular book. First, it is a source closer to the register of spoken 
language in Portugal because it mentions people and their different professions in 
everyday situations. Second, it reports "sayings." The chances of finding compounds 
increases in this kind of literature which is far more descriptive than the epic poems 
of the time. The orthography has been revised, making it easier to recognize 
"possible" compounds. 

The examples in Table 3.1 suggest that there seems to be a tendency in 
modem Portuguese to choose a more generic noun form instead of the plural or 
specific gender form. Casa da suplicagao ' house of-the-fem begging' today is casa 
de detengao 'detention house' where detengao has a generic meaning. Compounds 
formed by P+N do not show the generic meaning. Sem-razoes 'no-reasons' is no 
longer a noun and razao is used with a generic meaning. Prepositions were used as 
indicators of direction with proper nouns, e.g. Alem Tejo 'beyond Tejo (River)' and 
with common nouns, e.g.jmz defora 'judge from another community. 'The Spanish 
definite article el preceded rei 'king', marking it [+R], that is not just any king, but 
the king of Portugal. In Montemor o Velho 'Montemor the Old,' the name of a place, 
the article o is in a DP that functions as an appositive to a noun. 

Compoimds formed by V+N have the same syntactic order as today. The data 
in Table 2 demonstrate examples of words with the same lexico-syntactic categories 


and FPs as today. The major noticeable changes are semantic. Some words (signaled 

by an asterisk *) are no longer used, but the syntactic structure has been preserved 

exactly the same. On the other hand, manjar branco, cristao novo, and guarda-roupas 

are compounds still in use. 

3.4. The Lexicon 

One of the basic assumptions in word formation is the existence of a lexicon. 

Most lay people do not possess extensive knowledge of languages other than their 

own, so it is reasonable to suppose that they carry some knowledge of roots, stems, 

and affixes without taking their origin into account. As stated at the beginning of the 

chapter, a lexicon is composed of roots (word stems and affixes) and words. Since the 

lexicon is our personal knowledge and regular source for compounds and derivation, 

it seems logical that dictionaries should somehow reflect in written form the abstract 

concept of the lexicon of a given language. Dictionaries should provide consistent 

information about affixes and word stems. The lexical entries of amdvel 'amiable' 

and passdvel 'acceptable' ( Pequeno Dicionario da Lingua Portuguesa , 1991) come 

from different sources: 

(18) a. amdvel -^ from Latin amabile 

b. passdvel -^ adjective foraied by passar + dvel 

although both adjectives derive from verbs, only the first is given a historical origin 

(Hollanda, 1991): amdvel - from Latin amabile 

Based on the historic evolution of Portuguese, we can say that: 


amabil (loss of last vowel) 

amabel (change of /i/ to a lower front vowel Id due to assimilation to /a/) 

amdvel ( change from a bilabial obstruent /b/ to a dental labial fricative /v/. 


but example {18b), which was formed by analogy with the Latin model in a later 
period, does not get the same treatment. In the verbs below, HoUanda suggests the 
existence of a verb that does not really exist in (19b). Cunha's Dicionario 
Etimologico (1996) seems more systematic in the sense that presents both words as 
derived from pctlria 

(19) a. repatriar from the Latin repatriare , 

b. Qxpatriar 'expatriate' as ex+patria+ar. 

Parallel to historic derivation, we can also decode these words today because 
we understand the meaning of roots and affixes. Based on this assumption, I argue, 
following Lieber (1992), that the examples in (18) and (19) can be derived 
synchronically by Feature Percolation as demonstrated in the syntactic representation 
of Figure 3.1. 

(20) a. amdvel [amar (V) +dvel (Adj)] Adj 
h. repatriar [re (P) +patriar(V)] V 

3.4.1 Parasynthetic Derivation 

Although Portuguese, like its mother tongue, Latin, is an inflectional 

language, there are words that seem to be formed by adding two affixes to the base 

simultaneously, which is more typical of polysynthetic languages (Spencer, 1992:38). 

The derivation of racionaliiagao 'rationalization' (21) is can be predicted using 

theories of level ordering (Siegel, 1974) where one class of suffix follows another. 

The same does not happen in the examples presented in (22). Parasynthetic is the 

term used in Romance to define a derivation where both prefix and suffix are added 

to the stem simultaneously. This way, the derived word is composed of a root and 

bound morphemes. In racionalizagao, described below, at each subcategorization 


level there is morphological bracketing, which prevents the word from moving into 
the next categorization without having the proper syntactic, phonological, and 
morphological form. By the Bracketing Erasure Convention ( Kiparsky, 1 982: 140), at 
each stratum or level new changes could apply. 

(21) rac tone {Latin) 

/ \ 

Razdo (modem form) Racione 

racion-o\d form 
racion'H+alKA)= [racional Adj\ 
racional Adj + izarv= [racionalizarv] 
racionalizar v+fJoN = [ mcionalizagdoN ] 

Thus, *raciolizar or *raciogaoal are impossible forms because verbs are derived from 
adjectives and N from V. 

(22) a. descabelar 'to untie the hair' 
b. enrugar 'create face wrinkles' 

Since there are no such verbs as cabelar or rugar, the Ordering Principle and 

Bracketing Erasure cannot apply. The same gap is also found in adjectives: 

(23) Des+ camisa n+ adoAd}= descamisadoAdj 'no shirt' 

is an expression used by the Peron followers in Argentina to describe the poor, and 
also adopted in Portuguese. Again, there is no *descamisa or camisado in Spanish or 
Portuguese, which leads us to conclude that -ada/o does not necessarily require a 
verb to attach to in order to become a nominalization. Since these examples go 
against the bracketing principles, perhaps some form of prefix and suffix 
incorporation to the base by means of a null verb could explain these derivations. 



por' put] 



en m 
\ ruga 'wriTikle' 

Figure 3.2 
Prefix Incorporation 

3.4.2 Clipping 

Another interesting type of word formation is clipping. Carone (1994:40) 
suggests that the speaker perceives certain endings as being a suffix, and tries to 
recapture the primitive word by dropping the ending. Another reason of a more 
pragmatic nature is that the speaker abides to a principle of economy and uses the 
stress rules of the language to form shorter forms. The shorter forai is a synonym of 
the longer one. That makes two phonological shapes for the same word. In the first 
three examples (24 a,b,c) stress is reassigned in the syllable before the last, which is 
the most usual for Portuguese, but the last one (24b) has stress on the antepenultimate 

Flo r ianopoli s G r a nfi na hil ar iant e 

Flor i pa granf a hilar io 

(24) a. Fluripa from FlorianopoUs 'a city in the south of Brazil' 
h. granf a from granf ina 'refined' 
c. hildrio from hilariante 'hilarious' 


3.4.3 Back Formation 

The words below suggest a pattern where the infinitive marker -r drops to 
form a N ending in -a, -o, or -e. However, since we also have verbs that are formed 
from nouns, it is not clear which one should be the base form. 

(25) a. manejo 'handling' manejar 'to handle' 

b. busca 'search' buscar 'to search' 

(26) a. chover 'to rain' chuva 'rain' 
h. nevar 'to snow' neve 'snow' 

c. ventar-vento 'to blow-wind' 

(27) azeite 'oil' azeitar 'to oil'. 

Miller (personal communication, 1998) questions whether these examples are 
really back formations and not incorporations, where the N moves to the empty V 
head. He says: 

Back formation is a historic detail; the purpose is to create a base from which 
an existing formation can be derived. Synchronically the incorporation 
analysis is preferable. The existence of such process is the very rationale for 
historic back formation. 




V N(P) 

[ ] ^ neve 

Figure 3.3 
Syntactic Representation of Incorporation 

3.4.4 Evaluative Affixes 

Diminutives and augmentatives have been used in Romance as evaluative 
affixes. Take -inha attached to the adverb agora 'now' to show iimnediacy in 
agorinha. The examples below come from the colorful language used to talk about 


politics. The rules of word foraiation have been flouted in order to achieve the desired 
effect. The prefix -des is negative and attaches to nouns, verbs, and adjectives to give 
them the opposite meaning, e.g. desrespeito 'disrespect.' But in example below (28) it 
means the opposite of how a 'mayor should behave.' It does that by violating the 
morphological constraints of the prefix des. Similarly, a noun gets an inflectional 
superlative ending of an adjective in (28b). 

(28) a. desprefeito 'des (neg)- mayor' 'bad mayor' 

b. candidaterrimo 'candidate+superlative suffix errimo' 'an unquestionable 

Sandmann mentions one way of forming nouns that are names of firms or 
industrial prodiucts is by attaching the advertising logo lingo suffix -ex. This and 
other similar endings {-flex, -ax) are not suffixes by themselves and therefore, do not 
contribute to word meaning. The famiharity vwth the media and advertising have 
probably been responsible for the new derogatory and evaluative meaning given to 
-ex in 

(29) a. -ex in prafrentex 'something or a person who sees himself as advanced' 
b. modernex 'sees it or herself as modem.' 

3.5 Conclusion 

In the preceding sections it has been shown that not only the oldest data but 
also recently coined words can be analyzed under syntactic principles. Compounds 
are sensitive to FP and both compounds and derivation follow the principle of head 
feature percolation. Some derivations, such as back formations, can be analyzed as 
noun or verb incorporations. The existence of a personal lexicon is demonstrated by 
the way a speaker uses evaluative affixation to create new words. The Portuguese 


language evolved from Latin and in its development there have been changes in 
syntactic order. A comparison between a diachronic and sinchronic views shows us 
an evolution from Latin SOV to Romance SVO. The few words that present SOV 
order have become opaque and the constituents are no longer recognized by the 


There are aspects of Romance derivation and inflection that interface with 

semantics in ways not previously considered. It is beyond the objective of this 

investigation to present a thorough analysis of either derivation or inflection. Instead, 

I will present a study of one segment of the Portuguese lexicon, the suffix -ada 'act 

of, event of, and suggest that the analysis adopted can be used as a framework for the 

study of other affixes. I chose this suffix because it interfaces not only with inflection, 

but also with gender. I argue that gender is a feature that has to be marked in the affix. 

Sometimes gender is merely inflectional, but at other times, as in -ada, it is also 


4.1 Human Cloning Gender and Grammatical Gender 

Before analyzing -ada, I will review the basic guidelines for the analysis of 

gender inflection presented by Matoso (1974) for Portuguese. 

• Nouns with one gender only 

(1) a. a rasa 'the-fem. rose' 
b. oplanela 'the-masc. planet' 

• Nouns with two genders and no noun inflection 

(2) o/a artista 'the artist' 

• Nouns with two genders and noun inflection 

(3) a. o/a mestr/e/a 'the master' 
b. o/a autor/a 'the author' 



These guidelines give examples of gender inflection and human cloning (Harris, 

1991:51). Harris establishes a redundancy rule for Human Nouns. Human Cloning 

replaces the lexical entry L with a pair of entries Lm (masculine) and Lf (renunme) . That will 

hold for examples (2) and (3). \¥hat these guidelines fail to do is to explain numerous 

cases where grammatical gender is used to distinguish meaning. In the examples 

below in Table 4. 1, the semantic domain of the human cloning is a professional 

category. The generic masculine is a member of a professional category and the 

feminine names the professional category itself. The base form is the masculine, and 

-a (the grammatical feminine) is a derivational suffix. 

Table 4.1 
Derivation and Inflection 

(one member of a category) 

mdgico 'the magician' 
miisico 'the musician' 
O politico 'the politician' 
O guarda ' the soldier' 
Jirico ^he l^ic j|oet' __ 


(the category) 

A mdgica 'the magic' 
A miisica 'the music' 
A politica 'the politics' 
A guarda 'the guard' 
j4jn2££jthe l^ric'^^ __ 



V -1 

a +tem. 

Figure 4.1 
Syntactic representation 

• Because -a gives the N the status of a professional category, it is a derivational 

suffix that attaches to N that are members of a category. The semantic 

representation is: 


Noun o -^ Noun -a 

Members of a category -> Professional Category 

Compare "apolidca ' in the sentences below. In (4a) -a is derivational and (4b) 


(4) a A politica de FH tern dado bans resultados ' FH politics has given good 

b O Lula e um bom politico e a Benedita uma boa politica. 'Lula is a good 
politician-masc. and Benedita a good politician- fem. 

4.2 The Suffix -ada 

The purpose of this discussion is to show that not only grammatical gender 

but also specific information pertaining to the affix has to be specified in its lexical 

entry. The suffix -ada attaches to verbs and nouns. The derivation in deverbals 

consists of the transformation of a participial into a feminine noim. In denominals we 

posit a null verb from which to derive from. Portuguese -ada and Italian -ata are 

similar in many ways. In their study of -at(a) in Italian, Mayo et al. (1995) propose a 

detailed semantics of its derivational process because merely defining it as "a N by - 

at(a) 'an act or unit involving a base" does not seem to capture all the differences in 

meaning. Most of their examples can apply to Portuguese. 

(5) 2L.focata QMian); facada (Port.)'a thrust given with a fork, a quantity or a 

substance such as food determined by the use of a fork' 
b. testata (Italian); lesiada (Port.) 'a thrust given v^th the head/forehead; a thrust 
received on the forehead' 

Derivations like the ones above are transparent, but others, as in (6) became 


(6) a jornata (Ita!.); Jornada (Port.) 'intervals of time' 

hfacaia (lta\.y,faQada 'the Iront of a building', deriving from face 'face' 


4.2.1 Deverbals 

Mayo et al. suggest that derivational morphology has a compositional 
semantics. The suffix -ada gives deverbal nouns such as the ones below the meaning 
of individual or instantiated events. This is part of a more general semantic distinction 
between actions and instantiation of actions, which are events. Observe the examples 
below where (8b) is ungrammatical because it is not an event, but the act of 
swimming. Events are bounded and countable. The examples in (7) below are a 
separate event of the same action. 

(7) a. nevar ; nevada 'to snow; a snowfall' 

b. nadar; nadada 'to swim; a swim' 

c. dormir; dormida 'to sleep; a nap' 

d. correr; corrida 'to run; an event where one runs for a short period' 

(8) a. Uma nadada e urn bom exercicio 'A swim is a good exercise' 

b. *Uma natagdo e um bom exercicio 'A swimming is a good exercise' 

c. Dei tres nadadas essa semana. 'I went for three swims this week.' 

4.2.2 Denominals 

The suffix -ada is also attached to nouns. The derivations are accomplished by 
positing a "null verb" and its participle, e.g.,patar, narigar. 

(9) a. olho- (olhar)- olhado- olhada 'eye- (to look)- looked- a look 

b. pata- (patar)- patada 'paw- to hit with a paw- a 'swat' 

c. nariz- (narigar)- narigada ' nose- to hit with the nose- a nose blow' 


Figure 4.2 


Mayo et al. suggest that a semantic operator corresponding to -ada initiates the 

transformation of an object concept (eye) to an individual instantiated event in which 

the object is involved in a central way. In (10 a) the eye plays a central role. 

Extending this analysis to Portuguese 

(10) a. olhada 'a particular event, in which the eye is involved in the role of the organ 
of vision (a kind of instrument). A particular event type using an organ of vision; 
particular event of looking. 

However, other -ada denominals in Portuguese have a different semantic 

meaning, which is not an event. Consider the differences in meaning between (11a), 

(1 lb), and (1 Ic). In goiabada the suffix means 'made of and in boiada, the base 

noun does not represent an action. Therefore, the division between denominals and 

deverbals does not function for Portuguese because there is overlapping of categories. 

(10) a. palhago- palhagada 'clown- particular event in which an actor acts as if he 
is a clown.' An event of the type 'to behave like' 

b. goiaba- goiabada 'guava- a sweet made of guava' 

c. boi- boiada 'ox- a group of oxen' 

Following Mayer at al.'s line of thought, we ask ourselves whether there are 
different operators for the different meanings of -ada. If the answer is positive, they 
would have to tell us when these operators act and why. Not only that, but how is one 
meaning blocked and another activated? Rather than positing an operator, we should 
consider the semantic domams that -ada attaches to. In the analysis I adopted I used 
Bauer's (1993:193) diagram for lexical entries and divided the data into specific 
semantic domains. Five were identified: 

(1) collectives of people/animals; 

(2) edible things become names of food; 

(3) categories of people used in a derogatory way; 

(4) the act of hitting or being hit with instruments /or parts of the body; 

(5) an individual event of the verb. 


Table 4.2 

(i) stem ; drop/o/ and add lada/ 
change stress to the syllable 
before the last in /ada/ 

(ii) inflectional class: as a 

generic name or collective there 
is no plural 

(iii) syntactic properties: no 

lexico-syntactic change 

N^ N [+animate] 

(iv)semantic specifications: 

attach to names of people and 
animals giving them the 
meaning of a group 

(12) a Cachorro-cachorrada 'dog-group of dogs' 

b. Mosquito- mosquilada 'mosquito-group of mosquitoes' 

c. boi-boiada 'ox-herd of oxen' 

d. garoto-garotada 'kid-group of kids' 

e. mogo-mogada 'young man- group of young men' 
f rmdher-mulherada 'woman-group of women' 
g.rapaz- rapaziada 'young man-group of young men' 
h. menino-meninada 'boy-group of boys' 

Table 4.3 
Made Of 

i) stem:- drop the last vowel. 
Add -ada 

(ii) inflectional class:- although 
generic, plural applies 

(iii) syntactic properties: no 

lexico-syntactic change. 
N-^ N [+ edible] 

(iv)$emaiitic speciflcations: add 

it to names of fruit and edible 
things. The meaning is food or 
drink made of the base N 

(13) a. goiaba-goiabada 'guava-guava drink' 

b. peixe-peixada 'fish-fish dish' 

c. bacalhau-bacalhoada 'codfish-codfish dish' 

d. laranja-laranjada 'orangeade' 
e.limao-Umonada 'lemonade' 


Table 4.4 
Negative Evaluation 

(i) stem :the same 

(ii) inflectional class: it is 

generic and has no plural. 

(iii) syntactic properties: there 
is lexico-syntactic change from 


(iv)semantic specifications: it 

means an event associated with 
the behavior of the actor; to 
behave like. . . 

(14) a. haiano-haianada 'from Bahia- done by Baianos' 

b. palhago-palhagada 'clown- done by clowns' 

c. estudante-estudantada 'student- riot by students' 

d. burro- burrada 'dumb- an event when one behaves like a donkey' 

e. cachorro-cachorrada 'dog-an event when one person acted wrong, as if this 
person were an animal, in this case, a dog. 

Table 4.5 
Hitting with or being hit by. Energetic Movement 

(i) stem :drop the last vowel, add 

(ii) inflectional class: add /s/ to 
form plural 

(iii) syntactic properties: noun 
resulting from adding the suffix 
to a 'possible verb'; it is an 
action such kicking, throwing, 
hitting C+hitting] 

(iv)semantic specifications: add 

to parts of the body or to other 
objects that can be thrown, hit. 
An individual event where the 
base N is used as an instrument 

(15) a. pata-patada ' paw- paw kicking' 

b. cahega-cahegada ' head- a blow with the head' 

c. nart-narigada ' nose- a blow with the nose' 

d. pe-pezada 'foot-foot kicking' 

e. joelho-joelhada 'knee- a blow with the knee ' 
f pedra-pedrada 'rock- rock throwing' 


Table 4.6 

i) stem :add ada for feminine 
and /ado/ for masculine to verb 

(ii) inflectional class: add -s to 
form plural 

(iii) syntactic properties: there 
is lexico-syntactic change from 
verb to adjective. 
V-^ Adj. 

(iv)semantic specifications: an 

individual event of verb; an 
action represented by the base. 

(16) a. nadar- nadada 'swim- a swim' 

b. correr-corrida 'ran- a race' 

c. escapar-escapada 'escape- an escape' 

d. deitar-deitada 'to lie down- a nap' 

All this variety leads us to conclude that the meanings are too different to be 
generated by an operator acting in the suffix. Each instantiation of -ada triggers its 
own grammar. The division between denominals and deverbals leads to confusion 
because there is overlapping of classification. Baianada is a "denommal" but it is 
important to capture its "event" reading. All it takes for the speaker to understand 
these nouns is to decode one type in each semantic domain. Once the speaker learns 
that laranjada is something made of oranges he understands ihsifigada is something 
made of figs. Some examples present polysemy, as in 

(17) cachorrada -^ group of dogs; an event when a person did something bad, a 
metonymy of the kind of acting like a dog. 

4.3 Etymology 

The Dicionario Etimologico (Cunha, 1996) registers -ada as a N suffix 
derived from Latin -ata (adjective, feminine) v^ith the meanings of collection, or small 


portion, duration, action, result of action, collection, marked by an instrument, made 

of, as exemplified above. A second entry for -ada derives from -as, -adis in Latin, 

which in turn, derives from Greek -as, -ados, found in collectives such as decada 

'decade', and the feminine gentilic, such as Lusiadas, Iliada 'Iliad'. Although the 

spelling of both suffixes is the same, the latter is distinguished from the former by a 

suprasegmental trait, that is the stress. Words derived from Latin are stressed in the 

syllable before the last; words derived from Greek are stressed in the anti-penultimate 

syllable. The semantic domains are different, too. There is no reason, therefore, to 

consider them as the same suffix. 

Table 4.7 
Greek Root -as, ados 

i) stem :add epenthetic -i and the 
stress falls in two syllables 
before the last; Gender is the 
same as the base 

(ii) inflectional class: add -s to 
form plural 

(iii) syntactic properties; there 
is no lexico-syntactic change 

N--> N. 

(iv)seinantic speciflcations: add 

to gentilic noun to make it 
generic and numbers of years to 
make it into an period of time. 

4.4 Feminine Gender 

The question about the role of gender in compounding can now be tackled. 
First and most importantly, gender rules are very specific in Romance as far as 
Adjective-Noun agreement is concerned. With nouns, however, there has to be a 
specification of the gender in the suffix. The suffix -ada allows only feminine 
marking on nouns, which overrides the gender marking of the N to which attaches. 


Following Lieber's feature percolation system (1993:93), adapted here for 
Portuguese, we have 

Figure 4.3 
Syntactic Representation 

Semantic Representation 

Noun o -^ Noun a 

People -> an instantiated individual event where an actor plays the role of the base. 

4.5 Conclusion 

The framework suggested to study affixes includes information about (i) stress 

changes in the stem, (ii) inflectional class, (iii) syntactic specifications and (iv) 

semantic specifications. In the semantic specification the domain is stipulated. The 

data associated with one domain also predicts the coining of new words under that 

particular domain. Once solidified these derivations can become polysemic, like 

cachorrada. Gender inflection is associated with nouns in Romance, but -ada 

presents the generic meaning of an act or unit involving a base that can be either a 

noun or a verb. It contrasts with the masculine participial. This contrast suggests that 

gender inflection is not restricted to noims and adjectives. 




The contribution of phonology to noun compounds is more restricted than 
morphology or syntax. One type of reduplication in Portuguese is composed of a 
prosodic word with iambic stress, which is part of prosodic morphology (McCarthy 
and Prince, 1990). The other two types of reduplication follow morphological rules. 
The word functions like an affix that is reduplicated. In both types, there is 
intensification of meaning. In this chapter, I show how some phonological rules 
operate in derivation and compounding, eliminating syllables and transforming two 
words into one. Next, I look at reduplication. Although small in number, nouns 
formed by reduplication are extremely productive in the sense that they are part of the 
everyday spoken vocabulary and are often mentioned in the media. 
5.1 Phonological Changes 

In the lexical entries of affixes there should be information about phonological 
changes, including suprasegmental ones. Other possible phonological changes 

• Apocope (last vowel of the stem truncates when a suffix is added) 
(\)garoto+ ada -^ garotada 

• Vowel Unification (vowel is the same, syllables unstressed, one vowel drops) 

(2) a. arqm+ imperialista-^ arquimperialista 

b. contra+almirante -^ contra-almirante /kotralmirdntji/ 



• Diphthong Formation [e, o] unstressed become semi-vowels [i, u] and form a 
diphthong with the adjacent vowel 

(3) cinco-anista -^ sin-kua-nis-ta 

(4) teleanuncio -^ telianuncio 

• Haplology (when two syllables are the same, one disappears to avoid repetition) 

(5) a. Brizola+Idndia-^ Brizolaldndia>Brizoldndia' Brizola land' 

b. dedodurar -^ dedudurar -^dedurar 'a snitch- to denounce' 

c. Louca Academia -^ loucaacademia -^loucacademia -^ loucademia 'police 

5.2 Reduplication as Word Formation 

Reduplication is a type of word fomtation where the elements of the base are 

totally or partially copied. Both onomatopoeia and verb reduplication belong in 

morphology. Moravcsik (1976) describes how language utilizes reduplication for 

semantic purposes. Syllables are reduplicated to form onomatopoeia whose meaning 

shows intensification, repetition, or excess. (A list of reduplications is given in the 


(6) a. bum bum 'noise' 

h.fru/hi 'noise of dresses made of silk' 
c. gaga 'too senile to utter words properly.' 

Another form of reduplication consists of verbs that become nouns. These 

reduphcations present the same semantic and syntactic characteristics: 

• the verb is in 3^*^ sing, person of present tense; 

• when compounded there is a change in lexico-syntactic category and the 
reduplication becomes a noim; 

• semantically, it is an event composed of smaller instantiations, that is repetition of 
the same verb action; 


• verbs are used in their intransitive form. 

Table 5.1 


Lit. Translation 



Run run 

An event where people 
run around and there is 
riot and contusion 

[Pisca(y) — fisca(v)]^ 

Blink blink 

A car blinker 


Pull pull 

Hard candy 


Break break 

An event where things 
are broken by people 
such as trains and 

[Come(y}-come (v)] N 

Eat eat 

A video game, 
'Packman,' where one 
eats the enemy. 

5.2.1 Syntatic Representation 

Reduplication shares some similarities with synthetic compounds, to be 
analyzed in chapter 9, because it is also a nominalization formed by a verb. In 
reduplication, however, the verbs are in the intransitive form and no case is assigned. 
Verbs, following Higginbothan (1985), have an event as argument. Reduplications, 
then, are repeated events. Following Miller (personal communication, 1993), I 
propose that the compound is frozen after the argument is discharged and becomes a 
noun by incorporation. 
(7) cone- cone 



[ ] 

/ \ 

V V 
Corre corre 

Figure 5.1 
Noun Incorporation 


5.2.2 Semantic Interface 

In the previous chapter we saw that the suffix -ada produced deverbals of the 
type below in (9). Similarly, in reduplication, we have a bound event encompassing 
several smaller events of the verb. 

(8) a. corrida 'an event of running' 

b. piscada 'an event when someone blinks the eye' 

(9) a. corre-corre 'an event where several short corridas take place' 
b. pisca-pisca 'an event where several short piscadas take place' 

5.2.3 Hypocoristics and Compounds 

The pattern used by a few compounds, such as nhonho /nono/, is usually 
studied as a morphological process. In Portuguese, however, it is sensitive to 
phonology. The CVCV pattern of these compounds will be analyzed under Prosodic 
Phonology, which is the most appropriate for Portuguese because it identifies a type 
of prosodic word found in hypocoristics such as Zeze, Didi, Laid, and many others. Reduplication Template 

The concept of prosodic m-orphology introduced by McCarthy and Prince 
(1990) defines the basic character of the phonological structure in units of prosody: 
mora (ix), syllable (o), foot, prosodic word (PrW). Prosodic or suprasegm-ental 
features are isolated from, other features into a special category that is registered in the 
orthographic system by means of diacritic marks or accents. These are properties 
associated with length, stress and tone. RedupUcation and clipping are best defined in 
terms of prosodic morphology. Syllables are defined as light (CV) and heavy (CVC). 


The phonological weight of the syllable interferes with stress patterns. Affixation, on 
the other hand, does not take into account the phonology of the base. 

The template formed by the prosodic word should recapitulate a parameter of 
the language. Following these principles, the prosodic template chosen for 
reduplication is not an arbitrary sequence. It is composed of a bimoraic foot [ua] with 
two Ught moras at the syllable level [aj^jj,]. The stress is on the last syllable to the 
right, that is, iambic stress. Iambic clipping does not permit a heavy syllable 
(Kenstowicz, 1994:557). In order to satisfy the constraints of these templatic 
conditions if necessary the prosodic words will suffer clipping and simplification. 
Reduplication is not syllable copy, but the mapping of the base's segmental tier (its 
melody) to a phonemically empty affix. 




/ \ 

o a 

/I /I 

/a fix 

/ 1 / 1 

i a id 

Figure 5.2 

Prosodic Representation 

Parameter: foot of two syllables with simple onset and one mora a [mi] 
Setting: stressed syllable in the foot, right side (iambic) 
Matching procedures: applies to the stressed syllable in the foot Clipping 

laid comes from ia ( Yoruba-woman), first used by the slaves to refer to the 

mistress of the house. In Yoruba means 'mother.' By analogy to the feminine 


(10) a. ioid 'man' is masculine. 

b. nhonho 'the oldest male son' and nhanhd 'the oldest female daughter/ is 

Clipping (1) 

Reduplication (2) 

New Prosodic Word (3) 

(1) (2) (3) 

1 1 


\ / 

I 1 1 1 1 1 

\/ \/ \ / 


\ 1 


Figure 5.3 
Clipping and Reduplication 

5.3 Conclusion 

Different phonological phenomena interface with semantics and syntax to 
form compounds in Portuguese. Phonological changes such as haplology apply to 
modem compounds, eliminating syllables and creating new words. This phenomenon 
follows a principle of economy. In the last chapter we saw examples of clipping that 
also obey the same principle. In reduplication, the stem is repeated to create new 
words. Hypocoristic reduplication examples were analyzed as a prosodic word 
composed of a bimoraic foot with two light moras at the syllable level. Other types of 
reduplication are morphologic and interface with syntax. There is change of lexico- 
syntactic category from verb to noun and the event argument becomes part of the 


An endocentric compound (see Appendix for a complete list) can be defined 

as a hyponym of the constituent that is its own head. They are classified according to 

the lexico-syntactic relationship between their constituents. In endocentric 

compounds the syntactic and the semantic head are the same. I start the investigation 

on endocentrics by reviewing the concept of syntactic head identification (Lieber, 

1992) and also looking at a second way of identifying the head, which is by 

pluralizing the compound. Next, I list the lexico-syntactic categories of endocentrics 

and examine the semantic overlap among some categories. Zwicky (1985), and 

Scalise (1992) suggest the "IS A" test to identify the head of a N+N compound. So, 

(1 ) a livro depoimento 'book testimony,' IS A (type of) book 

b samba cangcto 'samba song,' IS A (type of) slower samba with a romantic 

There is such a variety of N+N compounds that to rely only on the IS A (type) of 

reading is oversimplifying the issue. Consider N+N bound by a null preposition 

In (2a) and (2b) it is de 'of and (2c) is para 'for.' 

(2) a. came ledo literal translation (LT) pay book lion, 'income tax pay book,' 
where lion is a metaphor for the IRS power to take one's money. 

b. SOS-crianca LT SOS-child 'program to help children in need' 

c. saldrio-familia LT salary-family, 'an extra amount of money paid to someone 
for each child the person has. 

Other N+N can be rephrased as N+ an Adjunct Phrase showing similarity, 

such as many color names, e.g.. 



(2) a amarelo - mostarda 'mustard-yellow'. 
b. verde limdo 'lime-green' 
c azul handeira 'blue like the dark blue in the Brazilian flag' 

6.1 Heads in Endocentrics 

Following Lieber (1992) for French, the head in Portuguese compounds is 

initial with respect to its modifiers. The features of the left-headed element percolate 

up to the branching node dominating the stems and making the node above a noun 

compound. The compound has the same syntactic category as the head. Nouns have 

access to FP, under D(eterminer)P. Following Raposo for Portuguese (1992:209), 

based on the proposal of Fukui and Speas (1986), the NP is a projection of the 

category D, working as a complement of D. The DP hosts Number and Gender. In 

adolescente problema 'problem adolescent' there is no need to specify the determiner 

as o/a 'the-masc./fem., because it is not lexically marked in the compound, but inpor 

do sol LT set of the sun, 'sunset' sol is lexically specified for gender, carrying the 

feature [R(eferential)]. In this I follow Ishikawa (1997:558), who in turn based on 

Longobardi's proposal of [R] feature (1994), proposes "[+R] is checked iff D° is in a 

chain containing a [+R] expression." From a structural point of view, Longobardi 

suggests that the N position refers to universal concepts, while the D position 

determines the particular designation of the whole DP. In this case sol is marked as 

[+R] because it refers to the sun. In carne de sol 'meat dried in the sun,' [R] is 



(a) (b) 


r pp N PI 

de I \ 
[ ] NP 






de 1 \ 

o NP 

sol sol 

Figure 6. 1 
Syntactic Representation 

6.1.1 Feature Percolation 

The head features percolate up, determining the lexical-syntactic category of 

the compoimd: 

(4) a. [N + N] (o/a) adolescente -prohlema ' problem-adolescent ' 
b. [N + P + N] came de sol 'sun-dried meat.' 

Scalise (1992) reminds us that this is not the only basis for determining the 

head of the compound. Grammatical and human cloning genders in Romance also 

identify the head. The left constituent of (4a) [+/- masc], [+ animate] means the 

gender of the compound is masculine, given by the head, which is the leftmost 

element. We can say the same about carne de sol. In the latter, adding to Scalise's 

observation about gender, the head also inherits the uncountable meaning feature of 

came when used as a mass noun. In fact, what Scalise proposes for head 

identification confirms that nouns have access to FP. This is my argument for 

compounds in Romance. 


(5) a. Comi muita came. 'I ate much meat' 

b. Comi muita came de sol 'I ate much dried meat.' 

There are six types of endocentric compounds. Their lexical syntactic 
categories are presented below and each will be analyzed separately. 
6.2. Lexico-syntactic Categories 

The six types of endocentric compounds are: 

1) N+N livro-depoimento ' testimony book' 

2) P+N contra-mdo ' wrong way' 

3) Prefix + N (Adj) preamar 'low tide' 

4) N+P+N camisa deforga ' straight j acket' 

5) N+Adj mico preto ' a type of monkey' 

6) Adj(Adv) + N livre pensador ' free thinker' 

7) N+P+VP mdqidna de cortar grama 'machine of cutting grass' 

'lawn mower' 
6.2.1 N+N 

The constituents of N+N compounds can be syntactically coordinated or 

subordinated (Sandmann, 1996:118, R&V, (1992:125). Coordinated N+N with the 

same semantic domain are appositionals. By semantic domain I mean a restricted 

noun category. In the data these semantic domains are professions, places to eat, and 

occupations in the house. Compare (6a, b) with the borrowing (7), which presents a 

subordinate relationship. 

(6) a. bar-restaurante 'a place which is both a bar and a restaurant' 

b. cozinha-bar 'kitchen bar, a place in the house which is both a kitchen and a 

{!) piano-bar 'a bar that provides entertainment by means of a piano player' 

Also "N+ restrictive clause" subordinate reading are (8a and b). I will come back to 

the subordinates after analyzing the appositionals. 

(8) a. ano-luz 'light years' 

b. questao chave 'key question' 


6.2. 1.1 Appositional 

Although appositionals are N+N, they are usually classified as a separate 
category. This productive type has the following characteristics: 

(1) it describes a person or an object whose profession, activity or function 
respectively, embodies the combination of two of these professions, activities, or 
functions. That is what distinguishes appositionals from other N+N. The heads do 
not necessarily have equal status or weight, but they are both to be considered; 

(2) appositionals result in a combination of characteristics; 

(3) the criteria for word order seems to be phonological, that is, the shorter precedes 
the longer (look at the examples found in the table below); 

(4) the order can be reversed and the meaning persists; 

(5) both heads show pluralization. 

Rainer and Varela's study of Spanish compounds (1992) presents the (5) as 
evidence that these compounds to have two heads. Saying that appositionals have two 
heads, though, is not devoid of problems in Romance. In fact, it depends entirely on 
whether we consider the first element as the head that defines the major function of 
the compound. One of the recent Brazilian presidents, Jose Samey, was called 
presidente-poeta 'president-poet' because of his literary vein. However, poeto- 
presidente 'poet-president' was also a form found in magazines. Because the 
syntactic relationship of the elements is of accumulation and both heads are to be 
considered, I will define the compounds below as appositionals and consider them as 
having two heads. By doing so I account for their semantic characteristics of meaning 


of the same domain and syntactic characteristic of having two heads, as indicated by 

the plural form. 

Table 6.1 


Number of Syllables 

Semantic Domain 

Amante-proslituta ' lover 


Partners in a sexual relationship 


Editor-locutor ' editor- 


Media specialists 


Gemral-presidente ' general- 


Political occupations 







Places to eat 



Tia-avo 'great-aunt' 

Tia -madrinha 'aunt-godmother' 

Babct arrumadeira 


Occupation in the house 

Copeiro faxineiro 


Fuzil- metralhadora 


Type of weaponry 

'rifle- shooting gun' 

Both members get the plural form. Their syntactic representation is: 



A /-->. 

As bolsas esculturas I VP 

estdo ^ 

Figure 6.2 
Plural in Appositionals 

(9) bolsa-escultura ' bag-sculpture'. This compound was cited in Veja (1993, Aug. 
23). Pictures of this art form illustrate the double function of the compound. 

So far, we have seen N+N compounds whose semantic domain is the same. 
Now we will address N+N that present a subordinate relationship. 


6.2. 1 .2 N+N (subordinate relationship) 
• N+ restrictive clause (gender is given by the head) 

(10) a. adolescents prohlema adolescente QUE E problema 'problem adolescent' 

b. piloto-robo 'robot pilot' 

c. livro- depoimento 'testimonial book' 

d. questdo chave 'key question' 

e. cidade fantasma 'ghost town' 

Zwanemburg (1992:221) suggests that this QUE E type has the same syntactic 
structure as un avocat ami, in French, urn advogado amigo 'a lawyer friend'. This 
phrase, like the compounds, has the head at the left. 
• N+N with empty prepositions 

The N+N below have the kinds of relationship established by the prepositions 
de 'of 'and para 'for'. However, there is no overt preposition linking the constituents 
(Compare with those in 6.2.4 that have a preposition). The preposition de can be 
looked at as an empty affix that joins constituents bearing the relationship of 

(1 1) a. trem-fantasma trem DO fantasma 'ghost train' 
b. mestre escola mestre DA escola, 'schoolmaster' 

Others have a benefactive reading with PARA 'for': 

(12) a. saldrio-familia saldrio-(?PsRA) familia 'family salary' 
b. bolsa-escola bolsa-{PARA) escola, 'school grant' 

Notice that the same noun fantasma produces different readings in the sentences 

below. The first two are the QUE E type and the third, possession: 

(13) a. cidade fantasma 'ghost town' 

b. eleitores fantasma 'ghost-voters — votes that are counted in fraudulent 
elections for voters that do not exist' 

c. trem-fantasma ' ghost train' 


• Adiunct Phrase 

Color names have the reading of an adjunct phrase that means "hke." 

(14) a. amarelo-mostarda 'mustard yellow' 

b. verde-limdo 'hme green' 

c. vermelho-sangue 'red blooded' 

One is reminded of Wierzbicka's (1990) semantic analysis. She posits that color 
is perceived as associated with universals of human experience, such as day and 
night, sky and ocean, li^t and fire. These perceptions are shared by language users of 
different cultures. Color sensations occur in our brains, and in order to communicate 
these sensations, we project them onto an object or a person in our shared 
environment. The link between night and day , and black and white , respectively is 
quite obvious. The same can be said of perceiving blood as a certain red, and lime a 
kind of green. 

Table 6.2 summarizes the underlying relationships between the constituents. 

Table 6.2 
Syntactic Relations 



N+ Restrictive( que e) 

Eleitoresfantasma 'ghost voters' 

Adolescente problema 'problem 


N+ (empty) Prep. Phrase 

SOS-crianga 'SOS-child' 

N+ Adjunct Phrase (comoj 

Amarelo-mostarda 'mustard- 


6.2.2 P+N 

Because prepositions antecede the nouns, noun compounds formed by P+N 
present a problem for the head initial parameter. We can, however, consider 
prepositions as prefixes that attach to nouns by incorporation. Prepositions and 


prefixes present obvious similarities. They neither change the meaning of the noun 
nor the syntactic category. They are not heads like suffixes. 

(15) a. [P+[N]]= N fco(m)+ (o) autor]-^ co-autor 'co-author' 

b. [contra-\- almirante] =- contra-almirante 'rear admiral' 

(16) a.[Pref+[N]]=N [auto+adesivo]=' auto adesivo' self-sticky' 
h. [anti-cotidiano] = anti-cotidiano 'non daily' 

The exocentric compounds, though seem to behave differently and are 

sensitive to syntactic operations as the diagrams show. Rather than incorporate they 

become a PP modifying an empty noun. 





/ \ 






V com \ 


1 \ 


sem N 
V terra 

Figure 6.3 
Svntactic Representation 

6.2.3 Prefix +N 

• auto 

One productive prefix not only in Portuguese but also in other Indo-European 

languages is auto 'self. In automovel 'automobile' the prefix became a lexical entry 

with the meaning of 'car' and gave origin to several compounds such as 

(17) a. autoestrada 'auto road' 
b autoescola 'driver's school' 
c. autopegas 'auto parts' 

These words seem to be interpreted as the Greek root + word type, because 

there is no record of * carro-escola 'car school' or * caminhdo estrada 'truck road,' 


at least not yet. Although auto has the characteristics of a prefix because it gets 
'destressed' when attached to nouns, adjectives and verbs, and does not percolate any 
features hke nouns, it also shows syntactic characteristics because it works as the 
theme role of the verb. It precedes nominalizations, but seldom the verbs themselves 
since the two affixes se, si mesmo are the reflexive verb forms for Portuguese {lauto- 
admirar-se, 7 auto-ajudar-se would be redundant). Sproat (85:297-301) defines auto 
in English as anaphoric as in 'he is a self-admirer.' When he looks at nominalizations 
of the type exemplified below he concludes that the external 9 role is not discharged 
and therefore these examples are not necessarily syntactically anaphoric. 

(18) di.\aiudar\ v -^ ajuda n -> auto-ajuda 'self-help' 

\).{estimar\ v-> estima^-^ auto-estima 'self-esteem' 

c. auto-biografia 'autobiography' 

d. auto-destruigao 'self destruction' 

e. auto-adesivo 'stickers.' 

(19) a. ^ auto-estima e uma excelente qualidade. 'Self-esteem is an excellent quality' 
b. Tenho auto-adesivos no meu carro 'I have self-adhesives in my car' 

When a suffix with an agentive role (-ivo,-ente) attaches to verbs, auto 

becomes anaphoric to the agentive, which in turn is anaphoric to a noun as in: 

(20) a. O escorpiaoi e { autojj-destrutivoi} 'The scorpion is self-destructive.' 

The external role is discharged in the agentive suffix, but auto remains the internal 
role, as in the previous examples. 
• nao 

Nao is used as a prefix to nominalizations. Nao is an adverb of negation and 
its scope is a verb. In nominalizations, such as the ones below, the scope is nouns 
derived from verbs. This word formation is often used in formal language, such as the 
drafting of rules and policies, as the words below in (21 ) and (22) show. 


(21) a. ndo-alinhamento 'non-alignment' 

b. ndo-combatente 'non-combatant' and also with adjectives 

c. nao-produtivo 'non-productive' 

(22) a. ndo-observdncia 'non-observation' 

b. nao- conhecimento 'no knowledge' 

c. o ndo vir 'not coming' 

Lately, however, 1 have observed a significant change in the scope of ndo. The 
language speaker sees it also as a prefix of negation, somehow like des. 

(23) a. ndo advogado 'a non-lawyer' ' 
b. ndo ator 'a non-actor' 

6.2.4 N+P+N 

In this section we will present the relationships established by de 'of.' There 
are so many distinct types that de is more like an affix with possession as its basic 
meaning, but it is certamly not the only meaning. It will be recalled that in Chapter 3 
we saw that different Latin prepositions collapsed into de. Consider the examples 

• contained/container 

(24) dgua de coco 'coconut water' 

• container/contained 

(25) a. baldo de oxigenio 'oxygen tank' 
b. caixa d'dgua 'water tower' 

• made of 

(26) a. caldo de came 'beef broth ' 
b. caldo de feijdo 'bean broth' 

• part to whole 

(27) a. bicho depe 'an organism, a fungus that gives bad odor' 
b. porno de Addo 'Adam's apple' 

' In Yeja, Oct. 98. (23b) is in Jomal do Brasil . March 13, 1998. 


• ongin 

(28) a. menino de rua 'street child' 

b. camisinha de Venus 'shirt of Venus, condom' 

c. negocio da China 'business from China; good deal' 

• belonging to 

(29) a. arrimo defamilia 'family support' 
b.dona da casa 'home owner' 
c.dona de casa 'housewife' 

d. por do sol 'sunset' 

e. teia de aranha 'spider web' 

• type 

(30) a. tesoura depapel 'scissors to cut paper' 

b. came de sol 'sun-dried meat' 

c. anjo de guarda 'guardian angel' 

d. banca de jorna 'newspaper stand' 

e. briga defoice 'scythe fight' 

f certificado de qualidade 'certificate of quality ' 

N+P+N shows extensive metaphoric use after compounding. Nouns become 
polysemic as in: 

(31) a. cavalo de batalha LT war horse 'something impossible to do.' 

(32) Ndofaga da sua dissertagdo um cavalo de batalha. 'Don't turn the making of 
your dissertation into something too difficult' 

(33) boi de piranha 'ox of pirana' or 'innocent victim.' An ox is sacrificed when a 
herd crosses a river with piranas. The piranas will attack one while the herd can cross 
the river undisturbed! ! So, 

(33) Elefoi o boi de piranha no escdndalo means 'he was the scapegoat in the scam.' 

• Dona da casa and dona de casa._ 

It is the FP that distinguish the meaning of these two compounds, as suggested 
above in 6.1. In the latter one the absence of the definite article renders casa [-R] 


giving it a general meaning. In the former, the presence of definite gives it a 
referential meaning. [+R]. 

6.2.5 N+Adi 

The compounds in this category are N and modifiers. The head is followed by 
an adjective. The basic adjective categories are 

• color 

(34) a. lista negra 'black list' 
b. carta hranca 'free entry' 

• weight 

(35) a. peso-leve 'light weight' 

b. peso-pesado 'heavy weight' 

• taste 

(36) dgua doce 'fresh water as opposed to salt water' 
• quality 

(37) a«o novo 'new year' 

6.2.6 Adi. + N 

This is a special category of compounds, typical of the Romance languages 
and composed of a restricted number of adjectives that move to a higher position in 
DP. Not only adjectives but also quantifiers such as bem and mal give the noun a 
referential reading. As mentioned above, adjectives that can be heads, such as 
gentilics or participials, do not move to the left. The few adjectives that move are the 
predicative or attributive type. These adjectives can be to the right or left of the noun. 
In her study of adjective order, Nobre (1991) argues that the degree of cohesion 
between the two elements may be so strong that the noun and adjective lose their 


individual semantic meaning, becoming a compound, as with velha guarda, old guard 
'a group of influential older people.' It is this degree of higher cohesion that sets 
them apart from their mirror formations. They seem to obey a scale where some can 
go both ways, such as livre docente and docente livre, while others acquire a different 
meaning when the adjective is positioned to the left of the noun. Lamarche 
(1991:225), following Beard (1991), says that the interpretation of these adjectives 
has a "narrow scope reading." It relates to a specific aspect of meaning of the noun it 
modifies, rather than to the whole noun. Modification is internal to the noun and the 
whole noun is interpreted as one semantic unit. 

(38) a. Bom/a as in bom torn 'good manners', boapraga 'good guy' 
b. mau/d as in mau cardter 'bad character', mdfe 'bad faith' 

(39) a. Longo/a curt/a as in longa data 'long time' longa/curta metragem ' full length movie', 'short movie'(these exocentric 
compounds will be explained in the next chapter). 

(40) a. Pequeno/a as in peqmna empresa'smaW enterprise', pequeno burgues 'petit 

Adv. + Adj. (participial) behave in a similar syntactic way and are quite 

productive. As the head, the adjective gives the compound its lexico-syntactic 

• (41) a. Bem'mal as in bem-criado 'well bred', bem-educado 'well mannered,' and 
their opposites mal-criado, mal-educado. 


carater man 

Figure 6.4 
Syntactic Representation 

6.2.7 N+P+V+N 

There are a few compounds such as tesoura de cortarpapel, scissors of 

cutting paper 'paper scissors,' mdquina de lavar roupa 'machine of washing clothes/ 

tdbua depassar 'ironing board,' that mirror syntactic structure and for that reason are 

not considered compounds by some linguists. Sandmann (1989:129) considers them 

phrases. But so is boa vida 'person who enjoys life'or/7e de meia 'savings.' The latter 

has two meanings, one endocentric (a pair of socks) and the other exocentric 

(savings), both with the same syntactic representation. Another argument in favor of 

viewing them as compounds is that they are the same in English and French. The 

examples are from Zwanenburg (1992). 

(42) a. maquina de lavar roupa , machine a lover in French, 'washing machine.' 
b. maquina de costura, machine a coudre m French, 'sewing machine.' 

These compounds also present a shorter form as tesoura de cortarpapel or 

tesoura depapel from which the verb cortar 'cut' has been deleted. Other examples 

are mdquina de roupa 'washing machine'and mdquina de retrato 'machine for taking 

pictures' or camera. Dishwashers, which are more recent than washing machines are 

called lavadoras. In tdbua de passar it is roupa 'clothes' that is deleted, because 

passar 'to iron' is used as an intransitive verb. Since Portuguese is a pro drop 

language (Rizzi, 1986), it is possible to have a null filler in object position. 


6.3 Dvandvas 

These compounds are characterized by a relationship of coordination without 
any further dependency holding between them. The meaning of the second is added to 
the first by the conjunction e 'and.' In dvandvas the conjunction is either visible or 
implied. The semantic relationship of the constituents is looser when compared to 
appositionals. In dvandvas opposites may be conjoined as in (43). 

(43) a. compra e venda 'buy and sell' 

b. preto e branco 'black and white' 

c. altos e baixos 'highs and lows' 

d . achados eperdidos ' lost and found' 

Dvandvas also include noims and adjectives that can describe the participants of an 
enterprise or their socio-political characteristics: 

(44) a. Brazil-Argentina 

h.recessivo inflaciondria 'recessive-inflationary' 

A way of distinguishing dvandvas from appositionals is to determine if the 
two constituents in the dvandva maintain their individuality. If they do, they are 
dvandvas as in (45a), if they don't they are appositionals (45b). 

(45) a. Ele mora num quarto-e-sala. 

He lives in an efficiency apartment, 
b. Ele mora num *quarlo-sala. 
He lives in a bedroom, which is also a living room. 

• Gender 

Dvandvas take masculine gender by default or the gender of the noun they modify. 

(46) o acordo (masculine noun) Brasil-Argentina 'the agreement Brazil-Argentina' 
[ o acordo entre o Brasil e a Argentina} 

(47) a relagao (feminine noun) Brasil-Argentina 'the relationship Brazil-Argentina' 
[ a relagao entre oBrasil e a Argentina] 


(48) uma lei (feminine noun) centro-esquerda 'a law of the moderate-left' [ uma lei de 
centra (e de) esquerdd\ 

(49) urn candidato (masculine noun) centro-esquerda 'a candidate moderate-left' [um 

candidate de centra (e de) esquerda] 

(50) uma medida (feminine noun) recessivo-inflaciondria or [recessiva-inflaciondria] 
'a recessive-inflationary bill.' The last possibility is not widely accepted. 

(51) MOT acordo (masculine noun) recessivo-inflaciondrio 'an agreement recessive- 

(52) uma lei (feminine noun) socio-economica 'a law social-economic' 

(53) umpacto (masculine noun) socio-economico 'the pact social-economic' 

(54) uma televisdo (feminine r\o\m) preto-e-hranco 'a TV black and white' 

Order is shorter before longer 

Brazil -Argentina socio-economico 
(2syl) (4) (2) (5) 




OS / \\ 



N N 
Quarto e sala 

0^ quarto e sala 



sao A 


Figure 6.5 
Svntactic Representation 

6.4 Conclusion 

The analysis of endocentrics concentrated on the semantic content and the 
syntactic relationship between the constituents of the lexico-syntactic categories. In 
N+N, the spectrum of meaning varies from a great level of similarity in appositionals 
to the opposite level in dvandvas. Prefix+N and P+N are productive in forming new 
words. They do not change the category of noun, are closer to derivation than the 


Other types, and grammatical category is not changed. They attach to nouns by 
incorporation. The more constituents a compound has, the closer to syntax it seems 
to be. Examples are N+P+VP, which are sensitive to the same rules of "object drop." 
In addition, the presence of FP in some compounds shows that there is N-movement 
to these syntactic categories, especially if the N is [+R]. N+P+N and N+Adj were 
the categories that show most polysemy with metaphors and metonymies more prone 
to develop. The meaning presents a higher degree of abstraction when compared to 


There are a small number of right-headed compound words in Portuguese. 

Their morphological and syntactic characteristics are similar. One group is formed by 

a root and a headword, as the example in (1) shows, or a word and a root that 

functions as the head, as the example in (2). One of the two forms of the compound 

(either the root or the word) is from Latin or Greek origin. ' 

(1) a. lipoaspiragao Typosuction' 

b. agrorroque 'type of country rock music' 

c. video locadora 'video rental' 

(2) fracassomania 'mania of failure' 

There are also a number of other right-headed compounds that are borrowings 
from English, as the examples in (3): 

(3) futevolei 'a game played on a volleyball sand court, following the rules for 
soccer, that is, using the feet, head and shoulders, only. 

The main purpose of this investigation is to present a syntactic analysis of 

these right-headed compounds. Although these combining fomis are very productive, 

I will not analyze them in detail because it is not within the scope of this dissertation. 

In 7. 1 1 will present a brief sample of the most used compounds of Latin and Greek 

roots cited in linguistics literature pertaining to Romance languages. In 7.2, 1 analyze 

derivation in these compounds. In 7.3, 1 present a syntactic analysis and show that 

' These compounds with Latin or Greek roots are usually addressed in literature as "hybrids" (Rainer 
andVarela, 1992). 



they are fonned by incorporation. In 7.4, 1 look at borrowings from English that are 
also right-headed. In 7.5 I show how the different roots and words combine to form 
new words. 

7. 1 Latin and Greek Roots 

The compounds with Latin/Greek roots attached to Portuguese roots obey a 

principle of economy. They are shorter than the N+PP that have the same meaning. 

Many of these became opaque (see section 3.21 on Historical Portuguese) like the 

root 'forme.' 

(4) a. pacotologia 'science of packaging' 
b. tomaticultura 'tomato growing' 

Ciencia de pacote " to package science" does not sound like a good alternative, 

because it could imply a different meaning such as "packing up scientific 

knowledge," i.e., making science more clearly understood.' Ciencia de (em)pacot(ar) 

'science of packaging,' on the other hand, seems like a better synonym for 

pacotologia, but it requires changing a N into a verb. All this confusion is avoided by 

the adoption of pacotologia, which is more generic. Notice that Greek derivations 

add an epenthetic -o, as in pacotologia, and the Latin derivations add an epenthetic -i, 

as in tomaticultura These words can be rephrased as a N+P+N with an epenthetic de 

'of as in cienca de em(pacot(ar)' 'science of packaging.' This is the most common 

order for Romance. Compare to ciencia de cristais 'science of crystals,' with the head 

on the left side. 

7.2 Derivation 

One word that persisted practically unchanged from Greek and served as 
model for new formation is cleptomania. Derivation attaches to the head on the right 


as (5c) shows. The suffix -co/a 'possessing' attaches to the head. Table 7.1 presents 
other examples of the productivity of these and other roots in Portuguese. 

(5) a. cleptomania 'kleptomania' 
h.fracassomania 'failure mania' 

c. sucesso-maniaca 'success-maniac' 

d. Beatlemania 'Beatlemania' 

Once lexicalized, these compounds produce derivations that are often used by the 

(6) a narcotrafico narcotraficante 'narcotraffic dealer' 
h.cinejornal cinejornalistico 'cinejoumal-istic' 

Table 7.1 
Compounds fonned by Greek and Latin Roots 



Pacotologia 'packaging science' 

Cinejomal 'newsreel' 

Ecosislema 'eco system' 

Lipoaspiragao ' liposuction ' 

Cleptomaniaco 'kleptomaniac 

Fracassomania 'failure mania' 

Tecnocracia 'technocracy' 

Burrocrata 'assocrat?' 
Narcotrafico 'narcotraffic' 

Internauta 'web surfer' 

Motoserra 'chain saw' 

Tomaticultura 'tomato culture' 

Agro-rock 'country rock' 

Videoarte 'video art' 

Vinicultura 'grape culture' 

Teleamncio 'TV ad' 

Telenovela 'soap opera' 

Espagonauta 'astronaut' 

Rainer and Varela (1992) present a similar sample for Spanish. They see them 
as borrowings from Germanic languages because the roots are attached to the left. 
Remember that the order for noun complements in Romance is the opposite of 
Germanic. Although I agree that there are a growing number of compounds that are 


borrowings from English, I argue that we cannot generalize to all of them. First, 

because English in turn, has borrowed from Latin/Greek. Secondly because the 

speaker can use the sources available in the lexicon to create new compounds. 

7.3 Noun and Affix Syntactic Representation 

There are many expressions similar to these right-headed compounds that follow 

the [N+ PP] order in Portuguese. 

(7) a. mania de voce LT mania of you 'a way of saying that a person is totally 
committed and in love with someone' 
b. mania defracasso 'mania of failure' 

In compounds, however, the preposition is null and does not assign case This 

forces the noun to move to the left to incorporate. 

Figure 7. 1 
Noun hicorporation 

Since many roots have two syllables ijypo, eco, clepto, narco) and attach to words 
as if they were prefixes, the speaker might interpret them as affixes. In both types 
there is leftward movement. 


/ \ 
N Aifix 
[ ] / 

I Affix. \ 
V tnolo N 


Figure 7.2 
Root Incorporation 

7.4 Borrowings from English 

The compounds in (8) co exist today because the latest advancement in space 
science produced new borrowings, and espagonave is understood as a later and more 
advanced space vehicle than nave espacial. 

(8) a. nave espacial and spagonave 'spaceship' 
b. astronauta and espagonauta 'astronaut' 

Sandmann (1996) presents data on commercial names borrowed from English 

that are right-headed. In (10) even the apostrophe -s, which is the mark of the genitive 

in English, is borrowed. 

(9) a. Lucy Calgados 'Lucy Shoeshop' 

b. Marina Barra Clube 'Marina Barra Club' 

(10) a. Alvaro 's 'Alvaro's Restaurant' 

b. Antonio 's 'Antonio's Restaurant' 

7.5 Forming New Compounds 

It is the CO existence of different morphological language systems and the fact 
that the lexicon is a recipient where roots and words are stored, that make these new 
forms models for future formation. The combinations presented in this chapter can be 
summarized as follows: 
• a Latin or Greek root and a word 


(11) a ecoturismo 'eco-toiurism' 

• Clipping of words from different morphological systems ('internet' from English 

and astronauta from Portuguese) 
I nt ernet astron a u t a 

mil Mill 

Inter nauta 

(12) internauta 'web surfer' 

• Borrowings forming a new word that does not exist in the source langxiage (both 
'foot' and 'volley' are from English). When borrowed they get Portuguese 
pronunciation and conform to the spelling rules of Portuguese. 

{\3)futevolei 'soccer played in a volleyball sand court' 

7.6 Conclusion 

The data presented in this chapter reflect the coining of new words by the 

Brazilian speaker. Many of these words reflect different stages of advancements in 

technology. The speaker borrows, translates or clips the words in order to form new 

compounds. Right-headed compounds in Portuguese follow the rules of derivation in 

Romance with inflectional suffixes attaching to the right. 


Exocentric compounds do not have a visible head. They are composed of the 
same iexico-syntactic categories as endocentric, but it is more difficult to predict the 
relationship between the underlying constituents and the empty head. The nature of 
their lexical content is metaphoric; they can only be interpreted in the framework of 
shared ontological and contextual assumptions that, most of the time, are language 

The principle suggested by Jackendoff (Chapter 1) to explain the metonymic 
use of ham sandwich in "the ham sandwich over in the comer wants some more 
coffee" can be extended to most exocentric compounds. 
• an NP that normally denotes X to denote an individual. 
Following this principle, exocentric compounds are lexical items that freeze the 
output of this principle. Although the "ham sandwich" is not intended to be a 
compound, it has the same syntactic representation, [Det e NP]. Jackendoff 
(1995:242) suggests that " ham sandwich" fimctions as a head adjunct. So, adjunct 
rules like lexical rules add argument positions to lexical items. Therefore, one way of 
looking at exocentrics is to see them as a complement to a null head. 

Both endo- and exocentric compounds are generated by the same productive 
rules of the system and may have the same structural form. Consider the examples 


(1) a. cabide ambulante, LT walking hanger, 'a skinny person' 

h.JIo dental, literally dental floss, a tiny bikini that barely covers the body. 

The null head of the former is a person and the latter is beachwear. (lb) is polysemic. 

As the endocentric compound, the head of fio dental isfio and the meaning is ""dental 

floss." As exocentric,//o denial is mapped into a null head, working as a modifier, 

Both compounds in (1) are examples of metonymy. 

When we associate exocentrics with metaphorical language, two questions 
come to mind. Are there any restrictions to usmg the same syntactic rules we 
previously suggested for endocentrics? Can wc predict their meaning by a semantic 
cognitive theory? In the next sections I address these questions. First, I look at 
headship assignment and show that the definition presented in the previous chapters 
for endocentiics can account for exocentrics as v/ell. Second, 1 look at their 
metaphorical content. Next, I determine the semantic differences between the 
components of the lexico-syntactic categories of exo/endocentric. I finish tl'ie chapter 
by addressing Phrasal Compounds. 
8.1. Head in Exocentrics 

In Chapter 6 we defined an endocentric compound as a hyponym of the 
constituent that is its ov^oi head. A body-part compound mentioned in the previous 
chapter, /?e de cana, illustrates this. Like/]o dental, it has both an endocentric and 
exocentric reading. One of pe's lexical entries is 'a unit, one of a kind.' So, pe de 
cana 'a unit of sugar cane' is an endocentric compound whose head is^. As an 
exocentric, pe de cana m.eans 'a drunk,' a metonymy that associates the making of 
cheap sugarcane liquor with a person who drinks it in excess. Notice that gender in 
the exocentric construction is Human Cloning. 


(2) a..[ope de cana] 'a piece of sugarcane -^ endocentric 

b. \ o/a e pe de cana 'the-masc/fem dumk person' -^ exocentric, where the empty 
head is a person, 

8.2 Exocentric Compounds in Romance 

The literature on exocentric compounds in K.omance is mostly descriptive and 
there has not been an attempt to consider it v»ithin a syntactic frame. Scalise (1992: 
1 84) adopts the same test (in the negative) he used for endocentrics to show that 
exocentrics do not have a head. So, senza tela 'without roof IS NOT 'roof Based 
on the "IS NOT" assumption, he concludes that, in order to have a head, categorial 
and semantic criteria must be in agreement. Scaiise does not seem to acknowledge 
the fact that his example senza teto has to be mapped into a null head to make any 
sense at all. Compare to \m e sem terra] 'the e homeless' in Portuguese, mentioned 
and analyzed in previous chapters. 

Vilialva (1992) says thstpe de galinha 'crow's feet' got its metaphorical 
meaning by a semantic drift, although it is not clear what she means. The only 
syntactic process that she recognizes, following DiSciuUo and Williams (1988), is the 
V+N. Cedeno (1992:577), on the other hand, recognizes the existence of exocentric 
adjective compounds. He compares cariredondo 'round face' in Spanish to the 'red 
hair' English type, also exocentric. Redondo, being masculine, agrees with an empty 
head. Portuguese not only has similar compounds, but also presents the same type of 
gender agreement with a null head. 

hi his extensive study of compounds in Brazilian Portuguese, Sandmann 
(1 989: 1 32) suggests that the semantic criterion is the most effective for distinguishing 
an exocentric compound from an identical DP foraiation. Remember the other 


88 I 

meaning ofpe 'foot', is 'one of a kind.' Pe de meia 'one sock' is endocentric andpe 
de meia 'savings' exocentric. This old meton5nny comes from the time when people 
hid their money in socks under the mattress. Pe de galinha 'chicken feet' has a 
metaphorical meaning where imagery plays an important role. Visualizing chicken 
claws gives us a picture of how face wrinkles look. Not all exocentric compounds, 
however, have an endocentric counterpart. 

We also must recognize that some exocentric compounds like the P+N sem 
terra 'land-less' are not metaphorical. After freezing, though, an exocentric 
compound usually develops metaphorical extensions according to the contexts in 
which the word is used. In a recent Brazilian soap opera, one female character was 
uma sem terra 'a land-less girl' because she arrived at the farm where the action of 
the soap opera takes place with the landless group. Eventually a sem terra gained a 
derogatory meaning, such as uneducated and crude. 
8.3 Interpreting Exocentrics 

I adopt the model suggested by LakofF(1990:288) to interpret metaphors for 
compounds. A metaphoric mapping involves a source and target domain. The source 
is an image, a schematic model, and the mapping is partial. It maps the structure of a 
Cognitive Model (CM) into a corresponding stmcture in the target domain. In Figure 
8. 1 the shape and color were the characteristics mapped. 

(3) Copo de leite 'glass of milk' a large white plant from the lily family whose shape 
and color resembles a glass of milk. 



n ^ ^ 

Figure 8. 1 
Cognitive Model 

Metaphors are part of our conceptual system and affect the way we perceive 
things, how we get around in the world, and how we relate to other people. Metaphor 
use in compounding suggests that not only pragmatic and sociolinguistic reasons, 
such as socio-dialectal differences, but also extra-linguistic information have to be 
considered in interpreting their meaning. 

The examples below are metonymies for persons. They map the 
characteristics of Maria and Joao (4) and cabra (5) into another, which is a person. 

(4) a. Maria mijona 'Mary pisser' a cowardly person 
h.Joao ninguem 'John nobody' 

(5) a. O cabra '' 

b. cabra-macho 'tough man' 

c. cabra dapeste 'brave man' 

d Uma cabriia 'a-fem. kid' is by analogy, a young woman. 

The influence of farm life in metaphorical language used in the Northeast of 
Brazil is not restricted to the usage of cabra. A child can be a bichinho 'young 
animal,' somehow like "a kid" in English, it is common Icnowiedge that animal and 
farm metaphors are found in many other languages, although people from different 
cultures attribute different qualities to animals. They map one container (Maria, 
cabra) into the other (the person one wants to describe). In fact, cabra has a lexical 


entry in Hollanda's dictionary as 'man,' and commonly used in the Northeast of 

In the compound in (6) it is the name of a person that describes the animal. 

(6) a. viuva nesra 'black widow' is the name given to a 'black tarantula' 

Other nouns refer to things that people do, such as the nominalizations comersa 
'chat' and hafo 'breath' that are compound sources as in: 

(7) a. conversa mole 'chatter box' 

b- bafo tie onca , literally tiger breath 'bad breath of someone who has been 
drinking alcohol' 

In the examples below, the schema is "stereotyped" female behavior. 

Syntactically the head is the same but the adjuncts or complements vary. In terms of 

pragmatics, the Maria compounds below are commonly used by speakers, regardless 

of the fact that they are derogatory to women. Many exocentric compounds such as 

these are metaphors of the oral language domain. 

Table 8.1 
Maria Compounds 



Litera{ Translation 



A4aria Chiquinha 


Country girl with braided 


Maria Mijona 

Mary Pisser 

Cowardly person 

N+ P+N 

Maria sem vergonha 

Mary Shameless 

Impatiens (flower) 


Maria vai com as 

Mary go with the others 

Easily led person 

8.4 Lexico-Syntactic Categories 

I will analyze each category separately based on the traditional classification 
of compounds. 


8.4.1 N+N 

There are only 9 compounds in this category. 
{%)pontape 'a kick' ixomponta dope 'tip of the foot' with a null preposition. 
Sandmann (1989:129) suggests that a semantic change took place. Instead of tip, 
language users understand it as pancada 'a way of hitting something.' Pancada is a 
nominahzation, but like other words ending in -ada mentioned in Chapter 4, does not 
derive from a verb. It acquires its meaning of movement and action from the suffix. It 
gets the meaning from a verb like dar 'give' apontape 'kick.' 

(9) Varapau 'tail person.' The constituents are conjoined by addition vara 'rod' + pau 
' wood stick.' 

Another interesting compound in this group is 

(10) samba-cancdo . Mentioned before as endocentric it means 'samba-song,' a type 
of slower Brazilian samba rhythm. As an exocentric it means the type of boxer shorts 
worn by men since the sixties when that kind of song was popular. The distance 
between the two meanings is so wide that the only way to understand it is by having 
specific cultural knowledge. The younger language users learn it through context 
because they would be unable to decipher its meaning simply by decomposing the 

8.4.2 N+P+N 

Some of these compounds describe places. The table shows that the affix de 
'of ' indicates possession, made of, and origin, three categories described before in 
the endocentrics. 

Table 8.2 
N+P+N Comoounds 


Meaoiiig of Prep. 


Literal translation 



Made of 

(7,asa da sogra 

Selva de pedru 

Torre de Bahel 

Mother-in-law house 

Rock jungle 
Tower of Babei 

A place where you can 

do whatever you want 


Apartmicnt building 


A place where people 

don't understand each 


8.4.3 N+Adi. 

As mentioned before, the variety of adjectives used as N modifiers is more 
extensive than in endocentrics. In the list below the head of the compound is used to 
describe a characteristic of a person that is often derogatory. 

Table 8.3 
N+Adi.- Personal Attributes 

■N4iHi:r;; ■ 

Lit. ■rransi. , : 

Aidieciive . 

\M..:Jrm^sik■ ■. '•. 

JlPlp 1 










A person who 
plays hard to 

Table 8,4 
N (food) + Adj. 

::;rvftttn" V. 

Ht.Transl.:; •■ " 

Adjrective" ^ 

■■t.JL.Trdiis1 : V 

Triiiislaiioii ; 1 





Stingy person 





Person of little 


Table 8.5 

Adject hc^ 






Gay man 




Hatching egg 

A slow person 










Dead horse 





Small fish 
'people of 


8.4.4 Numeral + N 

Numbers and quantities combine with N as prefixes and prepositions. They 

refer to size or weight. One exception is camisa (numero) dez or camisa dez 'shirt 

number teti' is the 'fonA'ard player' in a soccer game. 

Table 8.6 
Numeral + N 

iiiiiliMiafi::, ., :.^.jii^Mitti^^^=^--'.;:^''''^:-'-;':.-^'-'-ii^Sstll^ ■■■■.;:;■-:?■■■-"■■.•;>- 

Ivleia porgao 

Half portion 

Small person 

Meio kilo 

Half kilo 

Light person 

Meio melro 

Half meter 

Small person 

Zero quilometro 

Zero kilometer 

Inexperienced person 

8. 4.5 P+N 

(11) a. sem terra 'landless' 

b. sem lelo ' homeless' 

c. sem vergonha 'shameless' 

8.4.6 Adi. +N 

The compounds 

(12) a. longa metragem , literally long meter-suffix 'full length movie' 


b. curta metragem 'short movie' 


have been reduced to \ 


c. iim c longa and um e curta. \ 

The D(eterminer) has the same gender as the head ///me 'film,' which is masculine. { 

{os e curta (metragem )1 ' the short movies' and [os e longa] ' the long movies' 

Other sets of opposite adjectives are found in these compounds. Once one is 

formed, the opposite is formed by analogy, but not necessarily in meaning, e.g., [ 

(13) a. velha guar da LT old guard, 'old group' j. 
b. jovem giiarda name adopted by the first generation of Brazilian rock singers. i 

The Adj +N is a productive class in Portuguese. Notice that it was extended to I 


proper nouns. | 

(14) Alto Leblon ' High Leblon' part of the Leblon residential section in Rio. i 
is part of a residential section in Rio named Leblon. This new development consists ! 
of buildings located on a hill. Now the low area where the restaurants are located and i 
where people gather on the streets has been called Baixo Leblon 'Low Leblon,' 

establishing a contrast with Alto Leblon. The Alto/ Baixo denomination was 

analogically extended to a neighboring section called Gdvea, where there are also two 

different areas, one residential on the hill and the other commercial at the bottom of ', 

the hill. 

(15) Baixo Gavea 'Low Gavea.' 

But why Baixo Gdvea if Gavea is feminine? In fact, what happens is that alio and 
haixo are used as norms and not as adjectives. We know they are nouns because they 
can be rephrased as o alto do Leblon 'the high of Leblon, o baixo da Gavea 'the low 
of Gavea.' The preposition is omitted. These expressions are used now by the media 


to advertise specials in restaurants, apartment rentals, and sales. Since these two 
expressions follow the same steps as compound formation and are used to designate a 
specific place, I will consider them as compounds. 
8.4, 7 Phrasal Compounds 

Lieber (1992:1 1) considers phrasal expressions such as 'over the fence gossip' 
and 'a pipe and slipper husband' as compounds because they occupy the same 
syntactic place (DP) as compounds, as the examples below show: 

(16) a. My pipe and slipper husband doesn't want to go to the movies. 
b. Let me tell you the latest over the fence gossip. 

Since all the examples she cites have an identifiable head, it leads me to 

conclude that her definition of phrasals would include a head, making them different 

from the phrasal exocentric that 1 have in my data. Hoeksema (1988) argues that any 

maximal phrase of an open class can occur as the first element under DP analysis 

because the determiner will take a NP as its complement. This applies to endocentric 

and exocentric phrasal compounds in Portuguese. 

(17) a.[Det e NP CP] [e Maria vai com as outras] 'sheep' 

b. [ Det NP PP] [conversapara hot dorrnir] , LT 'chat to make a bull sleep, 

Other phrasal compounds are epithets with no visible head 

(18 ) e devagar quase parando, LT slowly almost stopping, 'a slow boat.' Sandmann 


(19) e lomara que caia 'I wish it would fail;' name given to a tanktop for girls. Like 

the Maria compounds in Table 8. 1 it is sexist and derogatory. 


8 .5 Conclusion 

Although both endo- and exocentric compounds are composed of the same 
syntactic categories, they present considerable differences. Many endocentric 
compounds become polysemic, yielding exocentric compounds. This process implies 
a shrinkage of meaning. Only some semantic features of the compound are mapped 
into the nun head. The exocentric compounds may function as a complement of their 
null head, which is always a noun. Gender and number are assigned to the null head. 

Due to their metaphorical content, the semantic similarities may be better 
captured if we look at different complements for the same head. Null compound 
heads are names of animals, food, and proper names. Metaphorical language seems to 
be more productive in N+P+N and N+Adj than N+N. The adjectives belong to more 
descriptive and evaluative categories than the ones in endocentric compounds. 

A model that describes metaphorical language can be helpful in mterpreting 
and understanding the lexical meaning of exocentrics. Specific language knowledge 
is also essential to understand the meaning of some compounds, especially when 
decomposing them does not help. 

Exocentric compounds are at times amusing in the ways they name flowers, 
plants, animals, and clothing. Metaphorical language is a way to express our humor, 
the fun side of things, and exocentric compounds are the part that makes them 
fascinating to study. 



9. 1 Introduction 

Motivation to use compounding rather than more traditional language cannot 
be attributed only to random choice. The speaker wants to (i) create a word that is 
more specific than those already existing; (ii) better describe or qualify a person or an 
object; or (iii) convey an abstract idea by means of a metaphor in a condensed way, 
abiding to the principle of economy. We are equipped to do that because we 
intuitively know the syntactic principles of the language guiding compound format. 

In the data I have gathered for this investigation there were several examples 
of body parts used as endo- and exocentric compounds. I decided to pursue this 
semxantic domain of body parts and use it as a sample investigation of compound 
analysis. I limited the examples to N+Adj and N+PP. The first word, conceivably the 
head, would be a body part, as shown below: 
(1) Aqiiele jogador e umperna depau 'That player is a leg of wood 'clumsy player.' 

The language of sports, music, and technology' abounds in such compounds. 
An endocentric compound often acquires semantic extensions, thus becoming 
polysemic. Ferna de pau consists of perna, 'leg' + de 'of 'made of '+ pau 
'wood,' or 'peg leg' by compositional meaning. In fact,/»ema depau is a compound 
in Portuguese. One-legged people without financial resources create different 'wood 
legs' that vary from simple handmade devices to more elaborate prostheses. Perna de 



pau is an endocentric compound whose head is perna 'leg.' Leg bears a metonymic 
relationship with the body, that of the body part that lets us ambulate. In addition to 
this basic function of walking, legs are made of bones covered by muscles and flesh, 
which make them flexible and malleable. Tnerefore, one can easily move backwards 
or sideways, and even run when playing sports like soccer. In short, our legs are the 
part of the body that enables us to walk and run. Wood is the opposite in terms of 
flexibility and malleability. So, by positing that a leg is made of wood, one is not 
saying that running is impossible, but rather that it will definitely be restricted and 
therefore awkward. 

The data for this study are 73 items w^hose first constituent is a body-part noun 
(see Appendix for a taxonomy). The process of gathering the data took approximately 
one year. The compounds were analyzed according to the same criteria used in the 
previous chapters for endocentric and exocentric. One fact that immediately caught 
my attention was that many of them presented polysemy. Compounds would originate 
as endocentric and later develop metaphoric uses. I will start by looking at some 
examples of polysemy in 9.2. Next, I will describe the lexico-syntactic categories at 
9.3, analyze headship at 9.4, and in 9.5 I propose a syntactic representation that 
encompasses all of the body-part compounds. T will then proceed to analyze their 
metaphorical and metonymical component in the remainder of the chapter. 
9.2 Polysemy 

Meaning in some compounds undergoes changes from the concrete to the 
abstract with new lexical entries formed as a result. Consider mdo de ohra 'manual 
labor' from Latin manns opera and the expression ojos. de la vara (Spanish) olhos du 


cara 'eyes of the face,' registered in El Cid , the Spanish medieval epic. Mao de obra 
also means 'too much work' and olhns da cara no longer refers to a medieval 
punishment when we say, 'aquele carro custou as olhos da cara ' 'that car cost a lot.' 
hi fact, these N+PP expressions are used now as adverbial intensifiers. 

Compounding is not the only source of parts of the body language usage or 
polysem.y. Phrasal verbs and the words themselves are loaded with meaning 
experienced through our own body sensations. The two lexical entries, o cabega, 'the- 
masc.Ieader' and imia cabega, 'an-fem. intelligent person,' both are related to head 
metaphorical extensions. The different meanings are also distinguished by 
grammatical gender. I claim that body-part compounds always have a head. They 
require a referent in the world and this referent is a null head that gets gender from a 

A unifying feature of compounding in Portuguese is the fact that all of them 
are nouns and adjectives after compounding. In my data, they function as epithets or 
predicates. What remains to be seen is the contribution of the lexico-syntactic 
categories to compounding. Take pe/r/o ' a person who brings bad luck' mmpe de 
vento 'a sudden wind' and compare them with *pe defriagem ' foot of coldness' and 
*pe ventoso 'windy foot.' How do we account for the ungrammaticality of the last 
two? Since all N + PP compounds present the same preposition de, what is its 
function? What features percolate to the compound? These are some of the questions 
I will address in this chapter. I start by presenting data in the two lexico-syntactic 
categories N+Adj and N+PP ; next, 1 look at the morphological , syntactic and 
semantic characteristics of the body -part compounds. 


Table 9. i 
Lexical-Syntactic Categories 

9.3 Lexical- Syntactic Categories 

The table above shows that the number of N+ Adj and N+PP compoundings 
are practically the same. I predict, however, that due to their composition, the N+Adj 
compounds vvill present different characteristics from the N+PP forms. 
9.3.1 N + P.+ N 

The first thing to examine is the role of the preposition "de." 1 am not 
undertaking an exhaustive analysis of 'de' in Portuguese. I am only examining the 
types found in the data. Sinclair (1991) studied 'of 'examples taken from the corpus 
of COBUILT, one of the most extensive corpora of the English language. The 
methodology that he suggests to categorize 'of is quite simple. Take samples from 
the data set and categorize them by meaning. Put them away, get new data and 
categorize it by meaning as if it were new. See whether the categories found are 
similar. The result should show regularity in semantic categories. Following 
Sinclair's methodology, I found that de in these data establishes three basic 
relationships in regards to the parts of the body; 

• part/whole as in 

(2) a. pe de moleque ' a sweet peanut brittle' 

b. cabega de bagre ' dumb' ; (see literal translations below) 

• made of as in 


(3) a. coracao de ouro 'heart of gold' 
b. pe de chumbo 'a clumsy person' 

• oae of •& kind as in 

(4) a. pi de cana 'one piece of sugar cane' 
b. pe de meia 'one of a pair of socks' 

The important thing to capture about de is its function to link and establish 
relationships between the parts and the body as a whole, be it a person or an animal, 
or the part and its composition. Accordingly, and friagem 'coldness' does not 
form a part'whole relationship nor cwnpe be made of friagem 'coldness.' This 
answers the first question, which was how we account for the ungrammaticality of 
*pe de friagem. 

One interesting aspect of these compounds is that they combine metaphors 
and metonym. In the N+PP, some de relationships are metaphorical as in de venio, 
ouro, chumho 'of wind, gold, lead.' When compounded they become metonymic, 
which implies that the body-part compounds are metonymic. 
9. 3.2N+Adi 

The adjectives used in the compounds are descriptive. The categories found 
are size, transitory states, internal condition, temperature, tactile (texture, resistance), 
weight, shape, state of living, color, and evaluative. I use a taxonomy suggested by 
Givon (1993) to classify them (Appendix). 

At first, N-Adj seem to present a much easier interpretation because adjectives 
are single featured as opposed to ISI which are multi-featured (Givon, 1993). The 
features of the N/7e are size, texture, composition, and so on. Adjectives are not time- 
stable and represent a single feature of a particular noun. Frio 'cold' refers to 


temperature only. That leaves no room for doubt about the head status of cabeca m 
caheca oca 'hollow head,' mdpe mpefrio 'cold foot.' However, /r/o 'cold' is a 
negative attribute mpefrio 'person who brings bad luck,' but positive in cabegafria 
'a calm person, cool headed,' implying that he is not easily moved by emotions. Is it 
merely a pragmatic interpretation? I will come back to this question later when I look 
at cognition. 

A striking difference between N+Adj and N-t-PN is that except for olho 
mdgico 'peep hole', the N-Adj. in these data referred to people, only. The table 
below presents some of these. All the compounds have a referent in the world, as the 
translations show. 

Table 9.2 
Body-Part Compounds (Referring to a Person) 

Pa^-^s of the Body 

('oragdo de ouro 
Cabega de bagre 
Pe de cana 
Cabeca raspada 
Dedo duro 

Litera! Translation 

Heart of gold 
Head of fish 
Foot of cane 
Head shaved 
Finger hard 
Foot cold 

Meaning (person) 

Good person 

Forgetful person 


A skin head 

Tattle tale 

Person who brings bad luck 

Table 9.3 
Body-Part Compounds (Referring to an Object) 

Part of the body 

Pe de meia 
Pe de pato 
Cabega feiia. 

Pe de moleque 

Literal Translation 

Foot of sock 

Foot of duck 
Head made 

Foot of black boy 

Meaning (object) 


Scuba fins 

Head made in African 

Brazilian religions 

a sweet (peanut brittle) 


Difference between literal phrases and Compounds: 

(5) a. Ela tern a mao /eve. 

She has a hand light, 
b. Ele e um mdo leve. 
He's a pickpocket. 

(6) a. Ela estd de perna bamba. 

She has shaky legs, 
b. Ele e um perna bamba. 
He is a leg shaken. 
He is easily scared. 

(7) a. Ele e iim dedo diiro inveierado. 

He is a masc. snitch unchangeable. 
He is an unchangeable snitch, 
b *Ele e um dedo duro e inveterado. 
He is a hard and unchangeable finger. 

(8) A cabega de negro explodiii. 

The head of a black person blew up. 
The firecracker blew up. 

(9) a. Ele tern a cabega feita. Ele e mediiinico. 

He has the head made. He is a medium, 
b. Ele e cabeca feita. 
He is not easily influenced. 

9.4 Headship 

In (5a) mao leve is not a compound, but in (5b), it is. Um 'a-masc' is the 
determiner of a null head that is masculine, [D e NP] [um e mdo leve]. Um relates 
anaphorically to the subject ele 'he.' Notice that there is a change in gender when the 
DP becomes a compound. 

In (7a) dedo duro is a compound and inveterado a modifier of the compoimd. 
(7b) is ungrammatical because with e 'and' the two adjectives become modifiers of 


dedo 'finger/ The productivity of its compound status as a noun is shown by its 

(10) Dedo-duro n-> dedodurar v (rule of haplology applies, deleting one of two equal 
syllables) -> Idedudurar/ -^ dedurar 

Another example of derivation with the adjective duro/a is 

(11) [ Cara-dura] N LT hard face 'poker face' -> caradurice n 'poker face style.' 

The chart below shows the difference between grammatical gender and 
masculine/feminine in body part compounds. 





(12) O pe est a doendo 
The-masc. foot is hurting 
The foot hurts 

(13) O pe de pato e lamanho grande 
The feet of duck is size big 
The fins are size larae 


(14) .4 cahega estd doendo 

The-fem. head is hurting 
The head hurts 

(15) ^ cahega de negro explodiii 
The-fem head, of negro blew up 
The firecracker blew up 




(16) O pe de cana chegou 
The-masc. foot of cane arrived 
The drunken man arrived 

( 17) ^ pe de cana adora Scotch 

The -fem. foot of cane loves Scotch 
The drunk woman loves Scotch 

( 1 8) O cabega dura chegou 

The -masc. head hard arrived. 
The stubborn man arrived 
(19)^ cabega dura nao aprende 
The-fem. head hard no learn 
The hard- headed woman 
doesn't learn 

9.5 Semantic Component 

Some compounds, e.g.,/?e de cana, axe polysemic. 
• + animate takes the gender of the referent and is exocentric. 
® - animate takes the grammatical gender of the head and is endocentric. 
+ amm.[Q/G 'the-masc./fem epe de cana 'the drunk person;' 


- anim. [ope de cana] 'a piece of sugar cane.' 

+[o/a e perna de pan] 'peg leg and clumsy player;' 

- anim. {a perna de pau] ' a wooden leg. ' 

Table 9.4 
Semantic Features 

9.6 Syntactic Representation 




/ \ 

/ \ 

/ \ 

/ \ 

i/a/s] NP (body part metonymy) 

[o/a/s] NP [body part metonymy] 

/ \ 

/ \ 

/ \ 

/ \ 


N Adj 

/ / \ 

cabega quente 

cabega P N 

de vento 



/ \ 
/ \ 
[e] NP (body part-metaphor) 
/ \ 
/ \ 

N(body part) PP 
pe I \ 

P N(+ animate) 
de paio 

Figure 9. 1 
Syntactic Representation 


As suggested above, all these compounds have a head whether it is visible or 
not. The FPs define gender and number. Some body-part compounds have visible 
heads, while some have both visible and invisible heads due to polysemy. In the next 
section their semantic content will be analyzed (to keep it simpler, I do not specify the 
9-7 Cognitive Semantics 

Considerable information has been presented to describe the formal structure 
of the com.poiinds, but little has been said about their meaning and interpretation. In 
this section I will look at a comprehensive theory of meaning provided by Cognitive 
Semantics as well as principles such as categorization, prototype, imagery, and 

it is not my intent to undertake a critical evaluation of the concepts in 
Cognitive Semantics. On the contrary, this analysis is exploratory in nature. I want to 
see how useful and effective these concepts are when applied to the present data of 
body part compounds. Especially relevant to this investigation is the study of 
metaphors undertaken by Lakoff and Johnson (1988) and expanded in Lakoff (1990). 
Lakoff identifies the follovYing components in his metaphor model: 

9 body experience-^ we are a whole with parts 

* structural elements ->a whole, parts and configuration 

« basic logic -> asymmetric relation given by 'if A is part of B, then B is not part of 

My hypothesis is that the same model can be applied to the parts of the body 
compounds based on the following assumptions: 

• They are all examples of metonymy. Each part of the body has a specific function, 
such as 'we think with our heads' and 'walk with our feet' and yet the body parts 
are also perceived as bodily ftinctions. 


• Although metonymies are essentially referential, they present similarities with 
metaphors: they structure one domain in terms of another. 

• They are rooted in bodily experience. 

T start this investigation with a review of some cognitive principles based on 
Lakoff (1990). These same concepts are expanded in the review of Langacker's usage 
of grammar ( 1988). 
9.7.1 Background 

We perceive the world in which we live as having a structure with a high level 
of correlation among its components. This allows us to predict combinations of 
features pertaining to objects in our world. In fact, perceiving correlations and 
conceptualizing are cognitive tools that we use to understand the world around us. 

When we translate this experiential perception mto language, we do so by 
categorizing. Categorization fulfills our functional needs, which are dictated by the 
social needs of a given culture. Categorization follows the principle of cognitive 
economy, which says that with no more than one lexical item or phrasal expression 
we can capture the meaning of an object. Two concepts lay the foundation for 
categorizing-- prototype and basic-level categorization. The latter (Rosch and 
Lloyd, 1976) refers to an ideal level where we function and deal with the world 
around us. Like other cognitive concepts, it is characterized by a gestalt perception 
with mental imagery association. When one looks at the backyard and sees a number 
of trees, one is not likely to mention the kinds of trees one sees. It simply would not 
be "economical" to produce an encyclopedic dissertation about the different kinds of 
trees, even if one is an expert in the subject. This does not imply that subtler 
differences cannot be brought into focus if the speaker wishes to do so. Lakoff (1990) 


extends the idea of basic level of social interaction posited by Rosch and Lloyd by 
establishing at the most basic level such actions as ranning, walking, and eating, as 
well as properties of objects such as tall, short, hard, soft, heavy, light, hot, cold, and 
the like. These are similar to the adjective categories that I found in my research. 

The other important concept, prototype, can be understood as a reference m 
the categorization system. We categorize objects according to an inherent idea or 
prototype we carr>'. An object is more or less prototypical of a certain category if it 
does or not share common features with the prototype. 

One object, namely our body, stands out m this system as our continuing 
source of world perception. Johnson (1 987) captured this notion when he compared 
the way we experience our bodies to a container schema. The body as a container 
metaphor is experienced as something with interior and exterior boundaries. We 
breathe in and out of this container, take in food, and excrete. We can say that there is 
a bodily basis that structures our experience. Other concepts may impose further 
structuring on what we experience, building up a network whose nodes may function 
alone or as part of the whole system. 

Lakoff (1990) describes other schemas associated with the body, such as 
part/whole and center/periphery. They are apprehended as gestalts and translating 
them into words requires a visual description of some sort. Visual descriptions are 
necessary since we create the world through our concepts and perceptions. Schemas 
structure not only our thoughts but also our everyday functioning. 

109 I 

9.7.2 Metaphor and Metonymy 

Metaphors help us to understand one domain of experience that is more 
abstract in terms of another which is more concrete. The metaphoric system follows a 
mapping from a source domain to a target domain and is tightly structured, with 
correspondences on both sides. According to Lakoff and Johnson (1980) what 
constitutes a metaphor is not a word but the ontological and epistemical 
generalizations created around the concept that the word or words represent. A 
corollary to this fact is that we can make inferences and understand other concepts 
related to the centra! metaphor. 

Metonymy, like metaphor, is grounded in experience. It establishes a 
relationship where one lexical item stands as a reference for a person, object or 
institution, e.g., O cabega chata chegou 'The flat head arrived.' "The Northeastern 
person arrived" (people from the Northeast of Brazil are said to have flat heads). The 
data investigated in this paper fit well into this description. The parts of the body are 
experienced not only as parts but also as characteristics of the whole person when 
their metonymic meaning is mapped onto a being. 

Before analyzing the data 1 will look at phrasal expressions referring to parts 
of the body and see how they fit into the theoretical model I have presented so far 
(20) Ek estava enlameado dos pes a cahem 'He was covered in mud from head to 


The example (20) illustrates how we experience the body as a container that 
: has boundaries, here bounded by the feet and head. It also illustrates imagery when 

we conceive of mud spread all over the corporeal container. 


(21) Ele ndo se deu bem no negocio, meteu ospespelas mdos 'He didn't succeed in 
the business, he put his feet where his hands belonged.' 

Example (21) shows that different parts of the body are assigned different 
functions. Hands typically build up things, while feet can destroy. The relationship 
between part and whole is jeopardized when the functions are mixed. So, meter os 
pes pelas mdos is a metaphor for "mis-function." 

(22) Eu sou toda oKvidos 'I'm all ears,' that is, 'You have my undivided attention.' i 

Ears listen carefully (source) and are mapped into the bodily experience of 
paying attention (target). The part/whole relationship is metonymic, that is, ears 
stand for the whole person. 

(23) Ele abandonou apequena cidade e botou os pes no mundo 'he left the small city 
and put his feet into the world.' 

We are able to move around because of our feet. Langacker (1988) argues that 
an important distinction in the part/whole relationship is that the body presupposes 
and incorporates the notion of feet. That, in turn, also means that we do not have to 
invoke "leg" to understand that feet enable us to move, in the sentence above the 
person not only moved, but moved into the v/orld, which is a metaphor for expansion. 
9.7.3 Compounds and Cognitive Semantics 

A linguistic model should take into account what is known about cognition. 
Langacker (1988) refers to the stocks of conventional expressions that are stored in 
memory separately, such as those mentioned above; [. . . sou toda ouvidos] [ . . . dos 
pes d cahecaj. Ryder (1 994) suggests that N+N compounds qualify as conventional 
expressions. Langacker's assumption is that particular statements, such as 

Ill I 

conventional expressions, can be regarded as a matrix from which v/e extract rales. 
Therefore, in his usage-based grammar (1988) a semantic unit can be characterized 
as a configuration in a semantic space, which includes concepts. Information both 
semantic and encyclopedic is included in the lexicon. Semantic units are entries in a 
network where infomiation is easily retrieved. 

Langacker distinguishes three different relationships between units: 
e phonological and semantic unit create a symbolic unit; 
• semantic units abide by categorization because ultimately we decide if the 

referent belongs to a class of things defined by a symbolic unit; 
® each symbolic unit is a categor\' or a schema, an abstraction or a prototype for a 

v/hole class of referents that would instantiate that schema. 

Semantic units present integration when two or more structures of the same 
type form a composite structure such as 'cat food.' When one component of the 
compound is integrated into the other, adjustment is required. Some form of 
accommodation on the part of the language user is also necessary. The phrase botar 
ope 'put the foot' into the water or on an anthill are perfectly predictable but 'in the 
world' requires accommodation and adjustm.ent. Putting together disparate images to 
form novel expressions also requires creativity, which is a characteristic of the 
language user. The user has to build up the bridge between pema de pau 'pegleg' 
and a soccer player who moves slowly or cannot receive a pass from the other 

The notion of schema is crucial to interpret compounding. Schemas have 
properties of their ov/n: 


• they represent encyclopedic information; 

* they work as a recognition device; 

• they are processed in conjunction with a situation in an effort to discover how 
well the situation and the schema fit; 

® there are different kinds of schemas such as script, feature, event, entit>', etc. 
Some parts of the pattern are not completely determined by the remainder of the 


* constraints restrict the number of contexts and allow the person to fill in a default 
value if no infonnation about that aspect of the schema is given. 

e constraints can embed new schemas. 

Pe de cana 'a drunk' cannot be understood if the speaker lacks the schema of 
facts around cachaga, a cheap drink made of sugarcane and sold in working-class 
drinking establishments. It is considered as the drink of the poor, it is very strong and 
people who drink it are known to get drunk quicidy. 
9.7.4 Model for Interpretation 

I will analyze two groups of compounds, those based on cahega 'head' and 

those based onpe 'foot.' I suggest that the same model can be extended to the other 

parts of the body (see Appendix). I chose these two because they presented more 

compounds than the others. 

I. cabega 'head' 

Bodily experience: we are whole beings with parts that we can manipulate. 


(24) a. o cahega-> leader, capable, respected, flexible, in control of the emotions 
b. uma cabega -^ intelligent, respected for his opinions 
CM cabega-^ the physical head, its oval shape 

Structural elements : the body, the head, and a confiffuration of the head. 


Basic logic : The schema is asymmetric. The head is part of the body, but the body is 
not part of the head. 

Table 9.5 

Cabeca Metonymy 





head flattened 

Bom in the Northeast 

2. cabeca de vento 

head of wind 

Absent-minded person 

3. cabeca dura 

head hard 

Hard-headed person 

4. cabeca inchada 

head swollen 

Annoyed person 

5. cabeca fria 

head coid 

Cool-headed person 

6. cabeca quente 

head hot 

Quick tempered 

7. cabeca tonta 

head dizzy 

Confused person 

S.cabe^a de negro 

head of negro 

Type of firecracker 

9.cabe9a de bagre 

head of fish 

Someone who is 


head hollow 

Someone who is 

11. cabegade Santo 

head of Saint 

Someone whom you 
cannot trust 

12. cabega de porco 

head of pig 

Small house in a 
tenement with poor 
hygienic facilities 

B.cabega feita 

head done 

Mind made up Ca/?g(;<^ Analysis: 

N+PP compounds are examples cabega de vento, cabega de bagre, cabega de 
Santo Onofre. The internal relationship oi cabega de vento is head made of wind. 
which is metaphorical in the sense that the wind will blow away the thoughts, leaving 
the head empty. In cabega de bagre the schema to interpret the metaphors is size. A 
small fish has a small head and a little brain. Mapping of wind into the head empties 
the head. 


cabeca de vento 

I "" ! 

-if -V 

target source 

Figure 9.2 


Once compounded it becomes a metonymy i.e. the head is the person and the 
compound becomes referential, e.g.. Oh, sen cabeca de vento, como e que voce 
esqueceu o tele/one do Marcos? You forgetful person, how could you not remember 
Mark's number? 

Lakoff (1990) argues that not only objects but also feelings can be 
conceptualized. In his study of anger he analyzes how some of its physiological 
effects, such as body heat and agitation interfere with accurate perception. Anger is 
conceptualized as a fluid that fills the head and triggers these changes. This notion 
seems closely associated to an Lakoff and Johnson's ( 1980) study of causation. In 
which they argue that causation is a basic human concept used by people to organize 
their physical and cultural realities. Causation is perceived when: 

• the change of state is physical; 

® the change in the subject is due to an external source of energy; 
« the change in the patient is perceptible; 

• the agent monitors the change in the patient through sensory perception. 

The compounds below show causation. They describe a state caused by an 
external force or a state that becomes a pattern after being continuously exposed to 
external force. Examples of such states are given by compound adjectives: 

« fear of change (3) cabega dura 'hard headed person' 

• anger, disappointment (4) cabega inchada 'swollen head-annoyed' 


• emotion under control (5) c-cibegafria 'cool headed person' 

• anger (6) CG6ef<3gi.'e?z/'e 'cold person' 

• fear (7) cabega tonta 'confused person' 
e deprivation (8) cabega oca 'hollow-immature' 

The examples below show how these compounds can be used as epithets/ 
predicates, that is, metonymically and as temporary "mental state" descriptions. 

(25) Ele estd de cabega inchada porqiie o time de julebol perdeu. 

'He is of swollen head' 'he's got a sw^oUen head' because his soccer team lost. 

(26) FAe e urn cabega tonta. 
He is a confused person. 

{21)Eleficou de cabega tonta depois do acidente. 
His head became confused after the accident. 

Cabega feita 'head done,' 'mind made up,' deserves a fuller explanation of its 
cultural background. Although easily interpreted, it relates originally to the period 
spent in prayer and purification by one of the priestesses of the black rituals. During 
this time the head is shaved and the participants are kept in seclusion until they are 
ready to receive the deity. So, cabega feita originally referred only to people who 
underwent this ritual passage. By analogy it was extended to everj^one else and 
became a productive compound describing a person whose mind is set and who is not 
easily influenced. 

The remaining compounds rely on imagery in order to be understood. They 
are examples caheca chata, cabega de negro, and cabega deporco. Cabega chata 
describes people from Northeast of Brazil. It signals a physical characteristic of the 
head, which, of course, lacks scientific basis. Similar compounds are part of the 
folklore of many cultures. In both cabega de negro and cabega deporco the 
part/whole relationship is crucial to the interpretation of the compound and the 


schema they elicit. In cabega deporco there are two 'pig' schemas: small head 
compared to a big body and an animal that lacks hygiene. Therefore cahega deporco 
is a small house in a tenement with poor hygienic facilities. In cabega de negro, 
negro means only the color and the shape of the head of a black person mapped into 
the shape and color of an exploding firecracker type. Only two of the cabega 
compounds show positive qualities. They are cahega feita and cahega fria. These two 
compounds relate more to controlling emotions than to having intelligence. They 
demonstrate that there are other metaphors for cabega than the ones I first suggested. 
The compounds that refer to persons are derogatory and refer to lack of intelligence, 
lack of emotionai control, and lack of concentration. 'foot' 
Bodily experience: we are whole beings with parts that we can manipulate. 


• part of the body that permits us not only to walk and run (basic level) but also to 
escape, to dance; 

® part of the body of different animals with their physical characteristics; 

• one of a kind such as^e de cana, 'foot of cane' one node of sugarcane 

one of two that make up a pair such d&pe de eneia 'foot of sock' 'one sock.' 

Structural elements : the body, the foot, and a configuration of the foot in human 
beings and in animals. 

Basic logic : The schema is asymmetric. The foot is part of the body, but the body is 
not part of the foot. 


Table 9.6 
Pe Metonvmv 


Literal Traisslatioa 



pe rapado 

foot scraped 



pe de chunibo 

foot of lead 

Clumsy person 


pe de moieque 

foot of hustler 



pe de at! eta 

footof athiete 

Athlete's foot 


pe de valsa 

foot of waltz 



pe de meia 

foot of sock 



pe de cabra 

footof goat 

Lock pick 


pe de pato 

foot of duck 




foot cold 

Someone who brings 
bad iuck 

10. pe quente 

foot hot 

Someone who brings 
good luck 

1 i . pe de boi 

foot of bull 

a hard working 

12. pe de cana 

foot of cane 


13. pedecoelho 

foot of rabbit 

Lucky chann 

14. pe d'agua 

footof water 

Sudden rain 

15. pe de galinha 

foot of chicken 

Crow's feet 

16 pe de chinelo 

footof sandai 

Someone who is 
poor^e Analysis 

Pe is polysemic and the previous analysis of the preposition de 'of in N+PN 
compounds provided us with the following distinctions; 
• made of 

Example pe de chmibo, lead is a heavy material. A person with feet of lead cannot 
move easily or for that matter, play soccer well. At the other extreme ;?e de valsa 
moves gracefully, in both examples, the feet acquired qualities of their own through 
given metaphors. 


» part/whole 

It is to be understood in its literal meaning, that is, one not only can visualize 
but also should possess some encyclopedic meaning about the compounds: pe. de 
moleque, pe de atleta. pe de cahra, pe depato, pe de coelho, pe de galinha, pe de 

Inpe de moleque,moleque refers to a black child, inpe depato it is the shape 
of duck's feet whose function is to move faster in water; inpe de galinha it is the 
shape of the foot and the wrinkled appearance that by extension is used for wrinkles 
on people's faces. Pe de cabra is used as a tool to open doors, and/>e de coelho is 
supposed to bring luck. These last two are old forms that appear in different 
languages. One of the few compounds that associate animal characteristics with 
human beings ispe de boi. An ox is one of the major possessions on a farm and in 
many languages an ox is associated with strength and sturdiness. Someone who is a 
pe de boi is therefore a hard worker. 

• one of a kind 

Example />e de cana has an endocentric as well as exocentric meaning, From 
sugarcane we make a strong and cheap alcoholic liquor, thus a synonym for a drunk. 

• one of a p air 

Inpe de chinelo, chinelo is a cheap kind of sandal, therefore someone who 
wears chinelos does not even have money for shoes. 

N-Adj combinations were less common with feet than head's. The adjective 
frio renders positive qualities to the head by itself, but with feet, we understand that 

1 1 r\ 

1 \.y 

whatever make the feet cold does the same to the whole body. To make something 
cold means to deprive it of heat, and someone without body heat is apefrio, someone 
who will take the body heat from others. This metaphor is associated with an event 
schema that goes like this: 'when we do things together, we generate energy, and with 
luck things will work out. Ape frio takes our energy and brings bad luck. By analogy, 
a person who hape quente contributes to the group by giving the group his energy 
and good luck. 
9.7.5 Conclusion 

Many of thepe compounds have to do with physical shape, especially of 
animals. Two of them, /)e rapado and/7e de chinelo, refer to the lack of proper shoes 
and are derogatory to the poor. Pe de boi is also derogatory in the sense that it 
describes a person who works hard but lacks imagination to do something more 
lucrative. Many of the cabeca andpe compounds describe feelings, attitudes, and 
evaluations of people. The differences in meaning are striking. Cabeca deals with 
more abstract concepts and emotions Xhanpe. In order to interpret thepe phrases we 
need to use the notion of schema and imagery. 

Lakoff s model (1990) does provide us with valuable tools to understand the 
mechanics of more abstract meaning, but it has no power to predict how metaphor 
and metonymy develop. Identifying the schemas related to the different parts was a 
good starting point to interpret these compounds. In cabega 'head,' there was an 
idealization of the head function; the thought process guides intelligent and emotional 
behavior. Compounds conform or "flout this idealization," The adjective //-/oh 'cold' 
gives cabega in cabega fria 'cold head,' a positive coimotation, but py/Qspe 'foot' a 


negative one. Thspe 'foot' schemas have less idealization because there is no ideal 
way of walking, although /7e rapado 's literal translation, 'scraped feet' refers to the 
bad physical condition of feet. Imagery and encyclopedic recall rather than 
idealization v\^ere relevant to understand the meaning. 

Other conceptual tools besides imagery were extremely helpful in the 
analysis. The notion of schema and its association with interpretation provided 
valuable insights. Schema encompasses much variation, from restricting meaning to 
only one or two features, such as in cabeca de negro 'type of firecracker,' to a 
complex cultural event that spawned cabeca feita 'self assured person'. 

One interesting aspect of N-Adj compounds was the different physiological 
states that they can express. The fact that such states can be related to such feelings as 
anger and fear contributes to the distinction between N-N and N-Adj. The two 
underlying metonymies, 'I am my head, I am my feet,' seem strange when uttered in 
this manner, but were certainly unconsciously present throughout this analysis. 


Synthetic compounds are nominal compounds consisting of a verb and a noun that 

satisfies its internal arguments. In (la) below, chuva 'rain' satisfies the internal argument 

oi guar da 'keep.' The meaning of guarda-chiiva refers to an object that protects one 

from the rain. In (lb) olho 'eye' satisfies the argument of iapa 'cover.' So, a lapa olho(s) 

is an object to cover the eye. In both compoimds the argument is theme. The form of the 

verb, which usually belongs to first conjugation, that is, ends in -ar, is 3^*^ sing, present. 

(1) a. guada-chm'8. 'umbrella' 
b. tapa olho 'eye patch' 

There are three points to consider in the analysis of synthetic compounds. 

First, we have to account for the well formedness inside the compound. I will follow 

Sproat (1985) and Lieber (1992). Second we have to account for the zero derivation of a 

verb into a noun. I will follow the analysis of Varela (1989) for Spanish, which is based 

on Sproat and Lieber. The third point to consider is headship. Like other categories of 

compounds m this investigation, these are endocentric or exocentric synthetic 

compounds. In endocentric, it is the first element in the compound. In the examples, 

(la,b) are endocentric and the example (2) exocentric, that is, having an empty head. In 

example (3), tlie verb is used in its intransitive form and rdpido 'fast' functions as an 


(2) [Ne ^arrasta peJM LT drag foot 'a party, an event where people move their 
feet and dance' 



(3) lava rdpido LT wash fast 'launderette' 

Sproat (1985:214) accounts for the well formedness inside the synthetic 
compounds by invoking the First Sister Principle (Roeper and Siegel 1978). The 
noun is assigned a B role. Miller observes that The First Sister Principle may 
be taken as a parameter of compounding (1993:80). Internal arguments of the 
verb must be accommodated within the 'first sister' of a binary branching 
compound. Also, all internal arguments are adjacent to the verb and dominated by 
the same node. His comment seems to capture the essence of these compounds 
because they are not verbs although the left constituent is a verb. The left 
constituent acquires the status of a nominalization formed by zero derivation 
whose argument is the N that follows it. 

In this chapter, I will examine proposals for the analysis of S3mthetic 
compounds in order to determine the extent to which they function for 
Portuguese. Then I will look at the different semantic meanings of these 
10.1 First Sister Principle 

The study of synthetic compounds in Romance has been approached in 
different ways. Sproat (1985:214) bases his argument about verb-complement 
proximity on Roeper and Siegel's (1978) First Sister (FS) Principle: "Ail verbal 
compounds are formed by incorporation of a word in the first sister position of 
the verb." In Portuguese, for instance, *saca-da-rolha 'pull out from the cork' 
is not an acceptable compound since 'da rolha'is not the internal argument of the 
verb and would not be the first sister of a binary branching compound. 

Sproat (1985:207) employs two other syntactic considerations to 
determine the well formedness of s>Tithetic compounds: the Projection Principle 

and Case Assignment. He writes: 

The application of the Projection Principle to the V in synthetic 
compounds has the effect of forcing all of the internal 9 roles of the verb 
to be satisfied within the verbal projection. 

Consequently, the compound *guarda-no-armdrio 'keep in the cupboard' 

is not acceptable in Portuguese but guarda-comida 'food keeper', 'cabinet' is. 


/ \ 

/ \ 



/ \ 

/ \ 

N' PP 

i A 

/ '\ noofmario 

1 \ 

N° N^ 

/ \ 

N° W 

Qiiarda 6 


/ \ 

/ \ 

D T-nT> 


/ \ 

/ \ 

N° N' 

/ \ 

o ^o 

guarda 6 comida 

Figure 10 
Syntactic Representation 

10.2 Case Assignment 

On case assignment, Sproat (1985:209) states that the verbal element 
assigns Case to its nominal complement, which implies adjacency of the verb and 
its complement. This is another way of saying that the First Sister Principle must 
be met. 


10.3 6 Role 

The external theta role is the last one to be discharged, if it is discharged at 
all. In English it is discharged at the point where -er attaches. According to 
Higginbotham (1985) verbs have an event as an argument. Nouns do not carry the 
event argument but verbs do. Sproat ( 1 985 : 1 72) suggests that the driver in 
compounds like cab driver inherits both the actor and the event. In Portuguese the 
meaning inside the compound will inherit the event argument. This event argument 
helps us understand the metaphorical content of the exocentric compounds. In 
example (4) it means that a mutt will turn over garbage cans looking for food. 

(4) Vira-lata LT turn over garbage can, 'a mutt' 
Isso e um cachorro vira-lata 'This is a mutt' 

O vira-lata e mats valente que muito cachorro de raga ' The mutt is braver than 
many purebred. 

(5) Mata-fome, literally kill hunger, 'a snack or meal that fills you' 

A comida dos Hare-Krishna e urn bom mata-fome. ' The Hare-Krishna food is a 
hearty snack. 

(6) Cria-caso, literally create problem, 'a trouble maker' 

Chegou o/a cria-caso. " The-masc/fem. trouble maker has arrived." 

Regarding similar compounds in French, Lieber (1992: 66) writes that: 

French has no synthetic compounds of the sort truck driver or 
pasta eating . Instead it has a productive set of nominal compounds that 
consists of a verb followed by a noun which serves as the internal 
argument of the verb. 

The same observation can be extended to synthetic compounds in 

Portuguese. Lieber (1992) says that semantically these nominal compounds in 

French are generally instrument nouns, less frequently agent nouns. The data can 

be divided in three semantic categories: 


a ) instrument 

(7) a. saca-roiha 'corkscrew' 

b. quebra-nozes 'Rutcracker' 

c. mata-fome 'something / food that is more than enough to fill up one's 


b) actor 

(8) &.giiarda-livros "book-keeper' 

b. guarda-costas 'bodyguard' 

c. porta-voz 'carry-voice' 'spokesman' 

d. puxa-saco 'someone who's always praising the ones in power.' 

c) event 

(9) a. quebra-pau 'fight or argument 

b. arrasta-pe 'dance party' 

c. bate boca 'argument' 

Lieber (1992) states that similar compounds in French are formed by zero- 
affix, which is the head of the compound. Following a long tradition, she claims 
that -er is the head of compounds such as 'windshield wiper' and 'truck driver.' 
She also claims that the derivational affix supplies the gender, most of these being 
masculine in French. It is assumed that there is no such a thing as a headless 
structure that would force the exocentric hypothesis and zero affixation. The 
exocentric compounds in Portuguese carry human cloning gender when they refer 
to [+human]. Therefore, gender is assigned under a local agreement between the 
FD and the empty head. 
10.4 Atom Condition 

Varela's proposal for Spanish (1989) suggests that the head is a deverbal 
noun of an agentive type whose features percolate to the top of the word. In fact, 
there are few deverbais of this kind in Portuguese 


(10) a. guardu 'watchman' 

b. arrasta LT 'drag'; an event where the homeiess boys move as 

a group, carr^'ing some kind of crude w^eapons, hitting people and stealing 
whatever tiiey can. Also called mrastao 'a big drag event' 

c. vira LT 'turn'; a dance from Portugal with much turning left and 

d. cria 'raise'; someone raised in a place. 

More evidence comes from the dvandva comes e behes 'a drinking and eating 
event.' Both nominalizations are pluraiized. So these are "possible words" 

Varella argues that percolation is in accordance with the Atom Condition 
proposed by Williams (1981). This Atom Condition accounts for derivations that 
attach at the end of the word and not to the head because, when derived, these 
compounds taice an agentive or instrumental suffix. 


V N \ 

N AjGGk I \ 

Para G queda(s) ista 

Figure 10.2 
Atom Condition 

Indeed, both para^weJiste ' parachutist' and gwartfo-c/zweiro 'umbrella 

holder' have respectively, an agentive and an instrumental suffix. The examples are 

the same for Spanish and Portuguese. Following the same principles with the suffix 

meaning of 'pertaining to' in Portuguese is: 

(1 X) puxasaqidsnw 'act of praising the powerfiil.' 
\puxa-saco] N +ismo N]] -^ piixasaquismo 


10.5 Semantic Meaning 

Sproat (1985: 214) suggests that synthetic compounds in French mirror 

sentence structure. His statement also holds for Portuguese: 

The element which compounds with the V in synthetic compounds is . . . 
the element which occurs immediately to the right of the verb in the 
corresponding sentence 

(12) a. guarda-roupa 'wardrobe' 

b. Esse e urn bom lugar para guardar roupa. 'This is a good place to keep 

c. Ele guarda roupa no armdrio. Tie keeps clothes in the closet ' 

In some synthetic compounds the relationship among the meaning of the 
constituents is not always predictable, though, as examples (4) and (5) demonstrate: 

(4) a. guarda-livros 'book keeper' is a person who keeps the ledgers 
b. Ele guarda livros 'He keeps books' 

(5) a. guarda-chuva a device that keeps the rain away from its owner. 

b. Isso guarda wnapessoa da chma 'This keeps someone from the rain.' 

While in English -er signals an actor, the absence of a head formative in 
Portuguese renders the interpretation more opaque. 

Analyzmg the same compounds for French, Bennet (1977) proposes a sub- 
division corresponding to the three types of deep structure: 

» the purely transitive {guarda-livros) undergoes no aligning transformation. It 
derives from (the one) who keeps books. 

• instrumental {guarda-chma) must undergo a preliminary transformation which 
raises the noun in the instrumental phrase to subject. It derives from something 
that keeps the rain away. 

• metaphorical {ganlm-pdo). A comparison of the type somethiBg is like 

something else. Ensinar e o meu ganha-pdo 'Teaching is my bread-winning 


Bennet reminds us that reconstruction of synthetic compounds includes 

changes of meaning and form, like ganha-pao that was instrumental and now is 

reinterpreted metaphorically. 

Discfue compounds 

(13) a. Bisque pizza 'call the dial-a-pizza' 
b. Bisque droga 'dial drug' 

These are two of the many new expressions with disque. Notice that it is 
disque 'call-imperative' and not disca 'call-present.' Copying American marketing 
strategies that advertise using the phone to obtain the delivery of goods, these 
expressions were introduced into Brazil with unexpected consequences. In English 
they are verb compounds, but in Portuguese they became nouns. So, 'Telefonapara 
o disque-pizza; translates 'call the dial pizza!' O disque pizza means 'the telephone 
ofthe pizza place.' 
10.6 Conclusion 

One ofthe major problems in the analysis of synthetic compounds, the 'zero' 
conversion of a VP into a DP, is accounted for in Varela's analysis. Like Varela I 
argue that the compound carries an event argument when it becomes a noun. The 
head is on the left, except for the exocentric compounds. Their head will be an empty 
noun and the synthetic compound fimctions as a complement like other exocentric 
compounds described in the previous chapters. 



The following are some of the controversial issues about compounds in 
Romance raised in the introduction (i) if compounds and DPs have the same 
syntactic order, which criteria distinguish one fomi the other? (ii) what are the 
possible syntactic operations in compounds? (iii) can the principle of headship be 
generalized for all compounds? (iv) how do principles of syntax, semantics, 
morphology, and phonology interact? (v) how do these issues relate to actual data? 
(vi) does the language parameter for Romance function for Portuguese? At this point 
1 am in a position to bring forward some important generahzations about these topics. 
The issues are discussed below. 

The first issue to be discussed concerns which criterion is used to distinguish a 
DP from a compound. It is only at sentence level that the two meanings ofpe depoJo, 
e.g., 'duck feet' and 'flippers,' will be distinct. The criterion that distinguishes both is 
semantic, because the order of the lexico-syntactic constituents is exactly the same. 
Plural is also the same, as is headship. Observing the data carefully, though, I realized 
that the number of compounds that are the same as DPs is by far smaller than the ones 
that are different. This goes against a widespread belief that there are no compounds 
in Romance. Villalva (1992) and DiSciullo and Williams (1988) are some of the 
linguists who do not consider Romance as having any compounds other than the 
synthetic. Noun combinations found in Appositionals, Dvandvas, synthetics, phrasals, 



hybrids, reduplications, and many N+N are unique to compounds. It is true that 
Portuguese does not have a distinct order of compounding as in English, e.g., 'truck 
driver' (as opposed to "drivers of trucks"), but N+N such as came kdo 'income tax 
paybook' and SOS-crianga 'help child' do not make sense at the sentence level unless 
used as a unit in compounds. Moreover, one could say that after tamanho-familia 
'family size' was 'frozen as a compound,' others such as saldrio-familia 'salary for a 
head of family with children' were coined. 

In the course of this investigation I presented a considerable number of 
compounds that start as endocentric and later develop metaphors or metonymies. 
They present polysemy, as xrxpe de meia 'pair of socks' and ' savings.' It has been 
suggested that one lexical item may freeze at its output, becoming a compound. I 
argue that not only individuals but also any object in the world is subject to the same 
principle. In fact, many of the body-part compounds showed this type of polysemy. 

The second issue to be discussed relates to the syntactic operations in 
compounds. The conclusion drawn from this investigation is that we should classify 
compounds under a general syntactic framework of principles and parameters. Their 
syntactic representation is the same as DP because compounds are equally sensitive to 
FP. Two principles, headship and feature percolation, will determine the lexico- 
syntactic category of the compound. Another operation that plays an important role is 
incorporation, not only in compoimding but also in derivation. Derivation also 
interfaces with compounding in hybrids. Both compounds and derivation follow the 
parameter for Romance, which prescribes left headship and complements at the right 
for com_pounds. The head in derivation however, is on the right side. If a word is 


understood as derived, i.e.fomied by a root and an affix, the speaker will follow the 
right headship principle when creating new words. The same strategy can explain 
clipping (3.4.2), e.g., hilario from hilariante 'hilarious.' It seems that the speaker 
tries to recuperate the root, separating it from some ending the speaker sees as a 

The third important issue relates to the generalization of headship in 
compounds. Although I argue that the headship principle should be generalized for all 
compounds, there are some restrictions with the categories of Adj+N and 
appositionals. 1 propose that the adjectives m Adj+N compounds move to the left to 
establish a greater cohesion with nouns. By doing so, adjectives give them a 
referential meaning, e.g., urn mau cardter 'a person whose character is bad', whereas 
[N cardter Adj mau]p? is not a compound. I also argued that the appositionals 
should have two heads. Dvandvas also have two heads, usually coordinated by e 
'and.' The syntactic representation of both is practically the same, and they also 
present the same double-plural characteristics. Headship, therefore, is not a good 
criterion to distinguish them. I argue that we differentiate them by a semantic 
criterion. Appositionals are composed of words from the same semantic domain, such 
as occupations in the household. In dvandvas, the conjoined words have meanings 
ranging from similar to opposite, as in compra e venda 'buy and sell.' 

Another important issue related to headship is the head of exocentric 
compounds. This head is sensitive to syntactic operations and gets gender and number 
from FP, as in [D o/a Is- N e [PP sem terra]]DP. Different categories of compounds 
can be exocentric. 


The interface of syntax with morphology, phonology, and semantics 
contributes to increase the variety' of compounds. Hybrid compounds relate more to 
morphological derivation. Reduplication and compounds like laid and nhonho were 
formed by the application of phonological rules, but get their gender in morphology. 
Reduplication of verbs interfaces with syntax when the event role of the verb is 
discharged. Also to consider in the interface of phonology, morphology, and syntax is 
the application of general principles, such as economy in derivations and hybrids, 
e.g., hildrio. Hybrids are shorter than similar N+P+N types, such a.s pacotologia e 
ciencia de cristais. 

The next issue deals with the relationship between the syntactic frame and 
new data. All in all, the syntactic analysis suggested in this investigation worked well 
for compounds in Portuguese and can be extended to other Romance languages with 
some language specific adaptations. In continuing to collect and classify data, I have 
found in Veja's latest editions (Sep 6/1 3/21,1 998) [N e Adj. meia + N .vo/a]DP 'half 
sole', a metaphor for something done in an incomplete way that refers to the latest 
governmental measures to face the economical crisis. Once again, the exocentric 
compound started as an endocentric. Also found was the reduplication [V troca- +V 
troca] DP 'change-change' an event that is going on in politics with politicians 
changing political parties, and also [V vira + N casaca} DP 'turn coat.' politicians 
accepting previously rejected views in order to gain votes. 

The last issue raises questions about whether other Romance languages offer 
the same tendencies to make compounds as Portuguese does. First of all, we have to 
consider that all languages have their idiosyncrasies. Italian presents the same kind of 


reduplication found in Portuguese, but Spanish has little reduplication. On the other 
hand, both Spanish and Portuguese present similar examples of appositionals. It 
appears that an investigation with the same type of media resources could be used to 
evaluate the tendencies I have suggested for Portuguese, including a three-year 
investigation on a leading magazine and other similar soources, especially 
considering the expansion of meaning by polysemy of endocentric into exocentric. 

One aspect of this investigation was the study of metaphors in body-part 
compounds. I show that some have more to do with the body-part image, e.g., cabega 
de negro 'a powerful firecracker that is round m shape and black in color. Others are 
so cultural-specific that they resist any attempt at compositional meaniong, e.g. 
cabega chata 'someone from the northeast Brazil.' This metaphor is a derogatory 
reference to the stereotype that people from the northeast have a flat head. Principles 
of cognitive semantics, such as schema, imager}', and conceptual analysis, give 
powerful insights into the meaning of the metaphor. In the body-part compounds the 
most interesting data relate to the N+Adj that describe a state caused by external 
forces such as body temperature, e.g., cabega qiiente 'someone who cannot control 
his anger.' Several of these compounds clearly show how feelings and emotions 
contribute to meaning. 

Another facet of this investigation was the demonstration of how language 
changes. The compounds examined within a diachronic framework become opaque, 
in that the constituents are not recognized by the speaker, therefore, they are learned 
as a whole, as in. manipular 'manipulate.' In the evolution from Latin to Portuguese, 
significant changes took place, including the loss of the declension system and the 

change in word order. At times speakers may recognize a root and form new words 
with that particular root, as happened in the sixteenth century when lexico-semantic 

categories that form compounds were accepted in the Portuguese language. The ' 

sample I gathered showed that few syntactic changes have taken place in categories I 

since then. \ 

A brief investigation of the numbers of compounds in each category shows us I 

that N+N arc the most productive in endocentric compounds. In both endocentric and | 

exocentric compounds, N+Adj and N+P+N are also productive categories with many 

polysemic compounds found in both. The synthetic is also a very productive pattern. f 

Since my focus was on a syntactic analysis, these categories should be regarded as f 

merely parameters for new formation. No research on tokens was undertaken, 

The data totaling 549 compounds reflect the visible tendency in written media 

to use compounds instead of longer descriptions. These compounds describe the way 

people engage in activities such as politics and sports. Using metaphor and 

metonymy, the language user captures in two words endless associations of meanings 

for the reader. 



1. N + N 

1. Adoiescente-problema 

Problem adolescent 


A mare I o-m ostarda 

Mustard yellow 









King star 



Driving school 



Auto parts 


Aviao radar 

An airplane that carries a radar 



Intensive Care unit in a plane 

10. Azul-piscina 

Blue like a swimming poo! 


. Azul bandeira 

Blue like the blue in the Brazilian flag 


. Banana-d'agua 

A type of banana that is long and big 


. Banana-maija 

A type of banana that tastes like apple 


. Banana ouro 

A banana with a golden skin 


. Banana prata 

Banana medium size 


. Bolsa-escola 

School scholarship 


. Bomba-relogio 

Time bomb 


. Caminhao bomba 

A track that carries a bomb 


. Camisa-convite 

Inviting shirt 


. Came leao 

IRS booklet for installment payments 


. Carro pipa 

Water tank car 


. Cidade satelite 

Satellite city 


. Cidade fantasma 

Ghost town 


. Comicio-monstro 

Big political gathering 


. Couve fior 



. Custo-beneficio 

Cost- benefit 


. Data-limite 



. Edificio sede 

Headquarters building 


. Efeito-doraino 

Domino effect 


. Efeito-estufa 

Greenhouse effect 


. Eieitores-fantasma 

Ghost voters 


. Empresa-fantasma 

Ghost fmn 


. Femando-henriquismo 

Fernando-henriqu-ian (current president) 


. Frevo diabo 

Diabolically fast song named frevo 



35. Futebol rag.a 

Soccer played with guts 


Garota propaganda 

Advertising model 



Blitzio-ieg (Gennan) 






Testimonial book 


Mae patria 

Mother countr\' 


Medico legista 

Forensic doctor 


Mestre escola 

School master 



A monkey that looks like a lion, golden 



Operagao reboque 

Towing operation 



Traveling Pope 



Key piece 



Key question 



Robot pilot 


Poesia processo 




Key question 


Rabino Mor Emerito 

Emeritus Rabbi 


Romance folhetim 

Serial novel 





Salario- familia 

Family salary 


Salario- fome 

Starvation salarv 



Samba-song 'a melodious, slow samba' 



Unemployment Insurance 



Health insurance 


Shopping- metro 

A shopping area in a subway station 



Program to help needy children 



Family size 



Speed train 



Ghost train 






Blood red 

2. N+P+N 

66. Agao de gracas 


67. Agua de coco 

Coconut water 


68. Agua de colonia 



Alma dos negocios 

Soul of business 


Ama de kite 

Wet nurse 


Amigo da onga 

Disloyal friend 


Anjo da guarda 

Guardian angel 


Arrimo de familia 

Family support 


Balao de oxigenio 

Oxygen tank 


Balde de agua fria 

Bucket of cold water 


Banca de jomal 

Newspaper stand 


Banlio de sangue 

Blood bath 


Batismo de fogo 

Baptism by fire 


Bicho de pe 

Name of a fungus that attacks the foot 


Boi de piranha 

Ox sacrificed to the pirana 


Briga de foice 

Scythe fight 


Cabega de area 

Center head (soccer game) 


Caixa d'agua 

Water tank 


Caixa de deposito 

Deposit box 


Caldo de came 

Meat broth 


Caldo de feijao 

Bean broth 


Camisa de forfa 

Strait jacket 


Carne de sol 

Sun dried meat 


Cavalo de batalha 

War horse 


Certificado de qualidade 

Quality certificate 


Dona de casa 



Educa(?ao a distancia 

Distance learning 


Estado de sitio 

State of siege 


Fi Ibi nbo-de-papai 

Daddy's boy 


Homem de a^ao 

Man of action 


Lei da bala 

Gun law 


Mao de obra 

Skilled work 


Menino de rua 

Street child 


Mestre de cerimonia 

Master of ceremony 


3. Mestre de obras 



1. Nomedeguerra 



2. Oficialdejastiga 

Law officer 


3. Ordem do dia 

Order of the day 


4. Pomo de Adao 

Adam's apple 


5. Ponta de lanca 

Right/left wing (soccer) 


5. Per do sol 



7. Posto de abastecimento 

Gas station 



Servifo a domicilio 

Home delivery 


Teia de aranha 

Spider web 


Tiro ao aivo 

Target shot 


Torre de Babe! 

Tower of Babel 


Virado ao avesso 

Inside out 


Virado paulista 

A dish from Sao Paulo 


Veado do campo 

A type of deer 



Alem fronteira 

Beyond the border 


Alem mar 

Beyond the sea 



Co author 



Rear admiral 



Wrong way 



Ex husband 



Former president 



High tide 

4. Prefix+ N 



Non-everyday event 



Anti-slip material 







































Ultralar, Name of a store 





Ultra religiosa 

Super religious 


5. N+ Adj 

140. Abaio nervoso 

Nervous breakdown 


Agua doce 

Fresh water 





A1ian9aNacional Libertadora 

National Alliance for Freedom 


Alma gemea 

Soul mate 


Alma penada 



Ano novo 

New year 


Ar livre 



Av6 torta 

Adopted grandmother 


Barata tonta 

Person who is lost 


Batata baroa 

Type of potato to make soup 


Batata doce 

Sweet potato 


Batata quente 

Hot potato (a problem) 


Batedor Diesidencial 

Presidential foreairtner 


Bobo alegre 

'happy dumb' simpleton 


Came seca 

Dried meat 


Carta branca 

Carte blanche 


Cartao postal 



Centra espirita 

Spiritual center 


Chave falsa 

False key 


Ciencias basicas 

Basic Sciences 


Ciencias humanas 

Human Sciences 


Conversa fiada 

Small talk 


Con versa mole 

Someone who does small talk 


Costas Quentes 

Someone who has a protector 


Crianca carente 

Child in need 


Ensino privado 

Private education 


Guarda notumo 

Night watchman 


Listra negra 

Black list 


Manga rosa 

A type of pinkish mango 


Mercado Cornum Europeu 

European Common Market 


Mi CO preto 

Type of monkey that is black 


Obra prima 



Parede mestra 

Master wall 



Bugs Bunny 






Middle weight (boxer) 













Politico profissional 

Ponte levadiya 

Premie Nobel 

Prisao domiciliar 

Prisao perpetua 
Quartel general 

Radical chique 

Radio escuta 

Secretario geral 

Venda postal 

Heaw weisht 

Plateau 'the capital 


Professional politician 


Nobel prize 

House arrest 

Life im pri sonment 

General headquarters 


Elegant Radical (cartoon girl) 

Lone wave radio 

Gen eral secr et ary 

Stamp sale 

6. Adj. + N 

1 89. Bem avisada 



Bem criada 

Well bred 


Em educada 

Well mannered 


Bem empregado 

Well employed 


Bem fudida 

Sexually pleased 


Bem nutrido 

Well nourished 





Jovem guarda 

New group 


Livre escolha 

Free choice 


Livre pensador 

Free thinker 





Longa data 

Long time 



On purpose 


Mai criado 

Badlv mannered 


Pequena empresa 

Small enterprise 


Pequeno burgues 

Petit bourgeois 


Pronto socorro 

Emergency hospital 


. Velha guarda 

Old guard 


7. N + P + V 

207. Agua de beber 

Drinking water 

208. Ferro de passar roupa 


209. Goma de mascar 

Cliewirig gum 

210. Maquina de lavar roupa 

Washing machine 

211. Maq u ina de lavar 


212. Maquina de tirar retrato 


213. Tesoura de cortar paper 

Paper scissors 


1.N + N 


Amigo urso 

False friend 


Banho maria 

Water bath 


Chuchu beieza 

Chayote beautiful, beautiful girl 


Cabra macho 

Macho man 


Maria Chiquinha 

Country girl with braided hair 


Maria Lambisgoia 

Awkward girl 





Samba canpao 

Boxer shorts 



Tall person 

2. N + P + N 

223. Abraco de urso 

The hug of a disloyal friend 

224. Arma de dois gumes 

Weapon with two cutting edges risky business 

225. Baba de quiabo 

Something easy to accomplish 

226. Baba de mo9a 

A sweet syrup made of eggs and coconut 

227. Bafo de onca 

Drank' s breath 



Bico de papagaio 

Spinal hernia 


Boi de piranha 



Cabra da peste 

A brave person 


Caminho de rato 

The path of a rat, hair not properly combed 


Casa da sogra 

A place where anything goes 


Colher de cha 

Give a break to 


Conto do vigario 

An act of cheating 


Copo de leite 

Trumpet lily 


Feixe de ossos 

Bag of bones 


Mae d'agua 

Water nymph 


Maria sem vergonha 



Negocio da China 

Lucrative business 


Pail de arara 

Transportation of migrant workers 


Pau de arara 

A migrant worker, also torture device 


Selva de pedra 

A place with too many buildings 


Torre de Babel 

Tower of Babel 


Uitraje a rigor 

Name of a rock group 


Volta por cima 

A come back 

3. N +Adj 


Agua viva 

Jelly fish 


Amor perfeito 



Anos dourados 



Anos rebeldes 



Amia branca 

White weapon 


Arraia miuda 

Small fish 


Arroz doce 

Rice pudding 


Balao apagado 

A loser 



A good guy 


Besta quadrada 



Bicha iouca 

Crazy gay 


Boco moco 



Bode expiatorio 




Migrant worker 

Bola murcha 

Lacking sexual libido 


Bossa nova 

New sound 



Cabide ambulante 

A very thin person 


Cafe pequeno 

A person of little importance 





Casca grossa 

Unpolished person 


Conversa fiada 



Conversa mole 

Small talk 


Figura dificil 

Someone who is hard to find 


Fio dental 

Small bikini (dental floss) 


Fogo cerrado 



Frente unica 

Blouse with an open back 


Galinha morta 

A person who does not react to an offense 


Joao Ninguem 

A nobody 


Linha dura 

A person self run by a strict code 


Manjar branco 

A pudding made of coconut milk 


Maria Mijona 

A cowardly person 


Mesa redonda 

Round table, a get together 


Mosca branca 

Someone who's hard to find 


Pao duro 

A stingy person 


Sal amargo 

Medicine for upset stomach 


Vacas magras 

Time of depression 


Viuva negra 

Black widow spider 

4. Numeral + N 


Meia porgao 

Small portion, small person 


Meio metro 

Half meter, small person 


Meio quilo 

Half kilo, a small person 


Mil folhas 

Thousand leaves, a sweet pastry with chocolate 


Tres Marias 

Name of a Southern constellation 


Zero quilometro 

New brand 

5. Adj + N 

289. Alto astral 

Lucky period 

290. Baixo astral 

Bad mood 

291. Boa gente 

Good guy 



Boa pinta 

Beautiful person 


Boa praga 

Affable person 


Boa vida 

A person who enjoys life, doesn't work much 


Curta metragem 

A short movie 


Jovem guarda 

Young group, vanguard 


Longa metragem 

Full length miovie 


Mau carater 

A bad character 


Pouca telha 

A bald person 


Puro sangue 

Thorough bred 


Santo remedio 

Healing medicine 


Veiha guarda 

Old guard 


Verdes anos 

Age of innocence 


Novos Baianos 

A group of singers from Bahia 

6. Phrasal 


Conversa pra boi dormir 

Talk that nobody believes 


Deus nos acuda 

Hectic situation 


Devagar quase parando 

A person who moves slowly 


Em ponto de bala 

Ready to take action 


Maria vai com as outras 

A person who is easily led by the others 


Nao anda nem desanda 

Someone who is stuck 


Pau pra toda obra 

Someone who does everything well 


So pele e osso 

A person who is just skin and bones 


Tomara que caia 

A strapless shirt, top,dress 


Zero a esquerda 

Something or someone nobody considers 


315. Achados e perdidos 

Lost and found 

316. Altos ebaixos 

Highs and lows 

3 1 7. Argentina Brasil 

Brazil Argentina 

318. Assim e assado 

This and that 

319. Come e dorme 

A person who doesn't work 

320. Comes e bebes 

Hors d'oeuves 'event with food served' 


32 1 . Compra e venda 

Buv and sell 

322. Paz e amor 

Peace and love 

323. Preto e branco 

Black and white 

324. Quarto e saia 

Efficiency apartment 

325. Queijos e vinhos 

Wine and Cheese event 

326. Verde e rosa 

The colors of Mangueira Samba school 



Amante prostituta 



Baba amimadeira 

Nanny/ cleaning 


Bar restaurante 

Bar restaurant 


Bar cozinha 

Bar kitchen 


Bolsa escultura 

Purse sculpture 


Copa cozinha 

Pantry kitchen 


Copeiro faxineiro 

Butler cleaner 


Editor locutor 

Editor announcer 


Escritor poeta 

Writer poet 


Fuzil metralhadora 

Rifle machine gum 


General presidente 

General who is a 


Ministro candidate 

Minister candidate 


Ministro conselheiro 

Minister advisor 


Navio fabrica 

Floating factory 


Poeta presidente 

Poet president 


Professor politico 



Rainha mae 

Queen mother 



Realist anarchist 



Great grandmother 



Aunt godmother 



347. Arranca rabo 


348. .\rrasta pe 


349. Bate boca 

Verbal argument 

350. Bate 




351. Batequeixo 


352. Beija mao 

Excessive courtesy 

353. Borrabotas 


354. Botafogo 

Spoil sport ^Trouble maker 

355. Caganiqueis 

Slot machine 

356. Caga torpedeiro 

A war ship 

357. Cola tudo 

A powerful glue 

358. Come mosca 

An absent minded person 

359. Come quieto 

A person who is secretive about his sex life 

360. Corta essa 

Stop that 

36 i. Corta grama 

Lawn mower 

362. Cria case 

Trouble maker 

363. Deixadisso 

Stop that 

364. Desmancha festa 

Party pooper 

365. Desmancha prazer 

Pleasure destroyer 

366. Disque pedra 

Call crack number 

367. Disque pizza 

Call pizza number 

368. Faz onda 

Small talk 

369. Faz tudo 

A place where small objects are repaired 

370. Ganha pao 

Bread winning income 

371. Guardachuva 


372. Guarda comida 


3 73 . Guarda costas 


374. Guarda livros 

Book keeper 

375. Guarda roupa 


376. Lanfa chama 

Spitfire gun 

377. Lan9a perfume 

A perfume spray 

378. Levanta homem 

A t>'pe of powerful liquor 

379. Limpa pasto 

A type of snake 

380. Louva Deus 

A type of insect 

381. Marcapasso 


382. Mata fome 

A snack 

383. Mata rate 

A cheap brand of cigarettes 

384. Papa mosca 

An absent minded person 

385. Papa-bezerro 

A type of snake 

386. Para-brisa 

Windshield wiper 

387. Paraqueda 


388. Porta- estandarte 

Flag holder 

389. Porta seio 


390. Porta-aviao 

Aircraf carrier 




A Carrier of nothing 





Puxa saco 

Brown noser 


Quebra costela 

A strong hug 


Quebra galho 

A gadget 


Quebra molas 

Speed bump 


Quebra nozes 



Quebra pau 



Queima roupa 

Point blank ranee 


Rasga seda 



Saca rolha 

Cork screw 


Safa onga 

A gadget 


Tapa olho 

An eye patch 


lira gosto 



Vira bosta 

A clumsy person 


Vira casaca 

Someone who changes sides easily 


Vira lata 








head flat 

Born in the Northeast 

2.cabe9a de vento 

head of wind 

Absent minded person 

S.cabe^a dura 

head hard 

Hard headed person 

4.cabe9a inchada 

head swollen 

Anjioyed person 

S.cabeca fria 

head cold 

Cold Derson 

6.cabe9a quente 

head hot 

Quick tempered 

y.cabe^a tonta 

head dizzy 

Confused person 

S.cabeca de negro 

head of negro 

Type of firecracker 

9.cabe9a de bagre 

head offish 

Someone W'ho is 

10.cabe9a oca 

head hollow 

Someone who is 

11. cabeQade 
Santo Onofre 

head of Saint 

Someone whom you 
cannot trust 


head of pig 





1. miolo mole 

brain soft 

Someone who is craz>- 

Oreiha LT 


1 . orelha de burro ear of donkey 
orelha de abano 

Dog ear 




l.nervos de a^o 

nerves of steel 

Nerves of steel 


Carue LT 


l.caroe de pescoyo Flesh of neck 

Someone who is 


Pern a 



l.pema de pau 

leg of wood 

Person clumsy in 

2.pema bamba 

leg shaky Scared person 





eye of lynx 

Smart, clever person 

2.o!ho de monna^o 

eye of mi St 

Sneaky person 

3.olho grande 

eye big 

Envious person 

4.olho magico 

eye magic 

Peep hole 

S.olho vivo 

eye alive 

Alert person 




1. vista grossa 

sight thick 

Pretend you didn't see 




1. testa de ferro 

Forehead of iron 

A cover person 





face of wood 

No sense of decomm 

2.cara dura 

face hard 

Nosy person 

S.cara pintada 

face painted 


4.cara metade 

face half 



face crooked 

a person who dislikes 
what she sees 

6.cara palida 

face pale 

White men 






mao aberta 

hand open 



mao furada 

hand with a hole 

Clumsy person 


mao de ferro 

hand of iron 

Strict person 


mao ieve 

hand light 



mao de obra 

hand of work 

Difficult task 


mao dupla 

hand double 

Two way street 


mao fechada 

hand closed 



mao boba 

hand silly 



primeira mao 

first hand 

First hand 

lO.segunda mao 

second hand 

Second hand 





foot scraped 

Tramp de chumbo 

foot of plumb 

Clumsy person de moleque 

foot of hustler 

Peanut brittle de atleta 

foot of athlete 

Athete's foot de valsa 

foot of waltz 

Dancer de meia 

foot of sock 


7. pe de cabra 

foot of goat 

Lock pick 

8. pe de pato 

foot of duck 


9. pe firio 

foot cold 

Someone who brings 
bad luck 

1 0. pe quente 

foot hot 

Someone who brings 
good luck 

11. pedeboi 

foot of bull 

a hard working person 

12. pe de cana 

foot of cane 


13. pe de coelho 

foot of rabbit 

Lucky charm 

14. pe d'agua 

foot of water 

Sudden rain 

15. pe de galinha 

foot of chicken 

Crow's feet 

16 pe de chinelo 

foot of sandal 

Someone who is poor de barro 

Foot of clay 

Someone who is 
Guilty of something 


foot of bull 

Hard working person 





1 . boca livre 

mouth free 

Free food and drinks 

2. boca de siri 

mouth of crab 


2 bocasuja 

mouth dirty 

Dirty mouth 





tongue of rag 

Loud mouth 




1. coraQao de ouro 

heart of gold 

Heart of gold 

2. coragao de pedra 

heart of stone 

Heart of stone 




1. dedoduro 

finger hard 

Snitch, tattle tale 




1. cudeferro 

hole of iron 

Student who does all 
the assigimients 

1 . cu do murido 

hole of the world 

Faraway place 




1 . bunda mole 

ass soft 

Someone who is 

1. bunda suja 

ass dirty 

Someone who is a 




I . estomago de 

Stomach of ostrich 

Someone who eats 
any kind of food and 

doesn't get sick 


TAXONOMY I (Preposition de) 

• part to whole (asiimaV person)- cabega de negro, cahega de bagre. cabega de Slo Onofre, 
cahega deporco, orelha de burro, olho de lince, pe de moleque, pe de adeta, pe de cahra, pe 
de pato, pe de boi,pe de coelho, pe de gaiinha, pe de anjo, boca de siri 

• one of a kmd-pe de meia, pe de cana, pe de chinelo 

• made of- cabega de venlo, nervos de ago, perna depau, olho de mormago, cara depau, mao \ 
defer ro, pe de chumho, pe dagua, lingua de trapo, coragdo de ouro, coracdo depedra, cu de 


• location- cu do mundo i 


• genera! size olho grande 

• evaluative (1 ) transitory states- cahega tonta, perna hamha, mdofurada, bunda suja 

(2) internal condition- cabega inchada, cabega oca 

(3) temperature- cabega fina, cabega quente, pefrio, pe quente 

9 tactile (\)tQxtmQvistagrossa,perapado. 

(2) resistance- cabega dura, miolo mole, dedo dura, bunda mole 

• weight mao leve 

• shape cahega chata, cara torta 

• state of living olho vivo, olho de peixe mono, 

mao aherta, mdofechada, boca livre, lingua presa 

• color carapinlada 


JNames of animals and plants 


1 . Bin bin 

Small fish 

2. Mio-mio 

Poisonous plant 

3, Piri-piri 

Aquatic plant 

4. Tico-tico 


5. Reco-reco 

Musical instrument 

6. Xique xique 

Plant, name of a city 


7. Dorme-dorme 

Poisonous snake 

8. Quero-quero 

Bird with long legs 


9. Bmnbum 


10. Coro-coro 




12. Curu-curu 


13. Fim-fim 

Small insect 

14. Fru-fru 

Wind on silky skirts, leaves 

15. Tati-bi-tate 


16. Gaga 

Senile person 

17. Hahaha 



3.Redupiicatioii to stress the meaniBg 

1. N+N 

18. Aiai 

Sigh of relief 






Chocolate candy 



Holding the baby 



Young master/ young mistress 



Small talk 


Lufa lufa 



Mole mole 




Small talk 



Son of the master/daughter 





Terere terere 



30. Bate-bate 


31. Bora bora 

Let's go! 

32. Chega chega 


33. Come come 

Pack man 

34. Corre corre 


35. Dodoi 


36. Esconde esconde 

Hide and seek 

37. Passe-passe 

Pass it away 

38. Pega pega 

Game of tag 

39. Pisca pisca 


40. Puxa puxa 

Hard candy 

41. Queroquero 


42. Troca troca 


3. Adv+Adv 

43. Assim assim 

So so 

44. Jaja 







(as) sem razoes 


No reason 

Alem Tejo 


Beyond the Tagus 



Before hand 

Ave-m arias 


Hail Mary 



Count prime 

Cristao novo 


New Christian 



The Kmg 



Kind man 



Door keeper 




Juiz de fora 


Judge of another place 

Mai sentida 


Poorly appreciated 



Feeling sick 

Manjar branco 


A pudding 

Montemor o Velho 


Montemor the Elderly 

Mordomo mor 


First Butler 

Peia pequena 


Small bail (ball game) 



Without any further comment 

Refina bigodes 


A refined person 

Roda viva 


The wheel of life 

Moto continuo 


The wheel of life 

Servidor da toaiha 


Towel servant 

Criado de mesa 


Table servant 



Written over 



Vice roy 



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Marta Reis Almeida was bom in Brazil and became interested in Linguistics 
and Political Science when she was studying Portuguese and English at the Catholic 
University of Rio de Janeiro. She taught ESL for more than 15 years in the American 
School of Rio de Janeiro where she was also the Coordinator of the Resource Center. 
She won a Fulbright Scholarship in 1966 to the University of Texas as part of the 
"Teacher's Development Program." 

She came to the States in 1992 to pursue her studies in Linguistics and 
women's issues and taught ESL in the English Language Institute at the University of 
Florida until May 1998. At present she is teaching Portuguese at the University of I 

Georgia. Her interest in political science and women's issues comes from her 
lifetime involvement with Catholic Ecclesiastic Communities in the shantytowns of \ 


Rio de Janeiro. At the University of Florida she earned a certificate in the Women and 


Development Program offered by the Latin America Studies and Anthropology I 

Department. ! 

She taught Portuguese and Brazilian Culture during her four years at the 
University of South Carolina in the Master' s Program in International Business [ 

A.dministration. She pursued her studies in core Linguistics at the University of 
Florida to earn her Ph.D. Her areas of interest are Romance syntax, phonology, 
morphology, and semantics. 


I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to 
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, 
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 

)^^^ Oil^^^ 

Gary Miller 
Professor of Linguistics 

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to 
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, 
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 

Ann Wehmeyer 

Associate Professor of Linguistics 

I certify that 1 have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to 
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, 
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 

Elizabeth Gitway 

Associate Professor of Romance 

Languages and Literatures 

T certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to 
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, 
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 

Olabiyi Yai 

Professor of Linguistics 

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to 
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, 
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 

David Pharies 

Professor of Romance Languages and 


This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Department of 
Lingiatics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and to the Graduate School and 
was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of 

May 1999 

Dean, Graduate School